Manchester United’s hopes of signing Bruno Fernandes has taken a mini-hit as Sporting Lisbon are delaying the transfer.
The Red Devils are moving to secure the transfer of midfielder Fernandes having already agreed a fee in principle of £50million rising to £65m.
But according to O Jogo, via Sport Witness, Sporting are slowing down the process in a bid to ‘play for time,’ having originally appeared set to sell this week.
The reason is apparently down to Sporting’s next fixture.
They face their biggest rivals Benfica on Friday night, which is their most important match in the Primeira Liga season.
The Lisbon based side think they have a better chance of winning the game with Fernandes in their side – with Sporting 16 points adrift of the table toppers.
It is now unclear how long it would take for Fernandes to become a United player – although it is expected to still be completed before the end of the month.
The Portuguese side are still trying to get a player in return – with Marcos Rojo and Andreas Pereira both linked as make weights.
Fernandes is keen to join United. Solskjaer and No.2 Mike Phelan watched the 25 year-old in action last week, during Sporting’s 2-1 loss to Porto.
Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, held discussions with Sporting president Frederico Varandas on Friday at the club’s Mayfair offices in London, but the clubs are yet to formally agree a fee.
“I’ve got no transfer updates,” Solskjaer when asked on Tuesday. “If we get something we can tell you about we will, but we’ve got no news now.”
However, Solskjaer indicated there was money available to spend if required, regardless of suggestions that United’s status as England’s richest club was “at risk”.