Manchester United are set to face stern competition from Manchester City for the signature of Portugal international Bruno Fernandes, with the Premier League champions also keen on the Portuguese midfielder.
The Red Devils have been pursuing the 25-year-old for a while, initially considering a move last summer but a deal could not be done with Sporting.
Their interest has been rekindled this month but they are again struggling to agree on a fee with the Lisbon side, who are holding out for around £68 million for their star man.
United are currently refusing to meet the Lions’ demands, offering around £50m, but may be encouraged to bend to Liga NOS side’s will by the interest of Manchester City, who would be content to pay the money.
Portuguese publication Correio de Manha report that Citizens are willing to go as high as €100m (£86m) for Bruno, although they would be looking to do so at the end of the campaign.
Sporting would be delighted to retain the services of the prolific midfielder until the end of the seaosn and then get a much higher fee for him than United are prepared to pay in the summer.
Fernandes is thought to be interested in the move to Old Trafford and personal terms have even been agreed, but this could rapidly change due to the interest of the PL champions.
The former Sampdoria and Udinese man has been in remarkable goal-scoring form over the last three terms, netting 64 times in 135 games from midfield for his side.
Boubakary Soumare has played down speculations that he could be set for a move to the PL, with Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly interested in the player this January.
The 20-year-old star has had an eye-catching season with fifth-placed Lille in Ligue 1 and is widely considered as one of the most promising young midfielders in European football.
The previous week, Sky Sports claimed Soumare was certain to join an English side this winter and suggested Chelsea were winning the hunt for the France Under-21 international.
It was claimed that while Soumare was ‘tempted’ by the prospect of a move to United, the youngster was ‘leaning towards’ a move to the Blues, with the Blues prepared to meet Soumare’s £40 million asking price.
However, the Frenchman insists he is committed to Lille until at least the end of the campaign and ‘a departure isn’t on the cards’ before the transfer deadline.
On the recent speculation, Boubakary told L’Equipe: ‘It has not worried me. Reporting matters to the people who read it and the people who write it.
‘I do not see myself leaving. I feel good here. I am learning, we have big objectives to attain, like qualification for the Champions League. A departure is not on the cards.
‘I want to do a full season, yes. I am not saying that I am in the starting XI, but the place that I have in the team today, I worked hard to get through the work that I put in, I won it.
‘I cannot see myself leaving without seeing this through. I feel good, my team-mates help me. It is not time to leave. I do not want to leave with any regrets.’
Manchester United are reportedly ready to spend £51 million on Atletico Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente in the summer transfer window.
With Paul Pogba potentially being allowed to depart Old Trafford later in 2020, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering his variants in the middle of the park.
While United are closing in on Sporting CP’s Bruno Fernandes, reports in Spain say that Llorente has also been pinpointed as a target.
The 24-year-old star has only been provided with three starts and 10 substitute matches in La Liga and the Champions League this campaign.
In spite of the Spaniard only being six months into a five-year deal, Atletico are likely to contemplate cashing in on the star should United offer them the opportunity to make a quick profit.
The report adds that a final decision won’t be made by both clubs until the end of the current season.
In other news, Lille chief Luis Campos reportedly has no intention of leaving his current role to join Manchester United in spite of the recent speculation surrounding the Portuguese.
The Red Devils are siad to have identified the 55-year-old as the perfect candidate to fill the vacant position at Old Trafford.
However, according to le10sport, there has been no contact between the two sides, and Campos doesn’t intend to leave his role with Lille to link up with the struggling Premier League giants.
Jose Mourinho was allegedly interested for the Red Devils to approach Campos while he was in charge, but the Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was against the appointment at the time.