The January transfer window is due to close on Friday night, yet the Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United saga continues to rumble on. The Red Devils have been pursuing the Portuguese since last summer.
Recent reports suggest that United have submitted an improved offer, although that still falls some £3.5 million short of Sporting Lisbon’s valuation of the talented midfielder.
This deal seems like it may never happen. Honestly, there isn’t a day goes by that I check my phone for football updates and not see this sorry saga continuing to play out.
If the rumors are true, Fernandes’s personal terms won’t be an issue. He’s reportedly looking for £120,000 per week. That’s not big money for a club like United.
So why is this transfer seeming to take so long?
It’s simple. Manchester United seem unwilling to pay what Sporting want for the player. The Primeira Liga side wants around £50 million for Fernandes. United initially offered £42.5 million, which was rejected. The old Trafford club has now come back with an improved £46.4 million offer, which still falls short of the selling clubs’ valuation.
What gives here? Why is one of the wealthiest sporting franchises on the planet penny-pinching over a few million pounds?
It was only a few short years ago that United was once again in the news regarding a January window signing. Alexis Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford in 2018 in a swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move the opposite direction to Arsenal.
A deal was agreed that saw the Chilean earn a reported £400,000 per week at Manchester United.
With 32 appearances for the club and a ridiculous three league goals, Sanchez was sent packing to Serie A side Inter Milan, although United are still paying around £300,000 of his wages.
A few years previous to the Sanchez deal, we saw United sign Argentinian Angel Di Maria for a staggering £59.7 million. After one season, he was widely considered to be the worst signing of the year. The following summer, he was sold to Paris Sant-Germain.
There have already been reports this window that striker Edinson Cavani rejected an offer to come to Old Trafford, and the Erling Haaland fiasco was well-documented.
Can United afford to lose out on another transfer target? Ed Woodward’s one saving grace has always been that he’s an excellent businessman. The fans may not like him, he may not always be his manager’s favorite either, but he can take care of business.
If the transfer period ends on Friday and Bruno Fernandes isn’t a Manchester United player, then this will surely be a devastating failure on the part of the Old Trafford club.
Your manager wants the player. If you’re backing him as much as you claim you are, then pay the money and get the signing done.