Manchester United have reached an agreement to sign Sporting C.P. midfielder Bruno Fernandes in a deal worth an initial $60m.
Goal reports that after a breakthrough in talks between the two clubs on Tuesday, the deal is close to being finished ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline.
United could pay up to $88m for the Portugal international with a number of additional clauses having been agreed between the two parties.
It is known that $10m of those add-ons should be relatively straightforward to achieve, but the details involved with the final $15m are far less likely to be reached.
Talks between United and Sporting had broken down in recent times with the clubs too far apart when it came to a valuation of Fernandes.
Sporting had been holding out for $80m, with United only willing to offer an original $50m, with a further $10.5m in add-ons.
Those add-ons included the 25-year-old winning the Ballon d’Or and the Red Devils winning the Premier League, and even though it is understood they remain part of the bargain, Sporting were unhappy that despite their inclusion the total amount would fall some way short of the valuation.
Reports on Tuesday indicated that Barcelona had shown an interest in registering Fernandes, together with the Blaugrana optimistic of using him as a makeweight in their pursuit of Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno.
But the player will now travel to Manchester on Wednesday to complete the move before a potential debut against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday.
Fernandes’ arrival comes as a timely boost to United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks.
The former United forward has seen his side slip to three defeats in their last four league games to leave the 20-time British winners six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in their pursuit of Champions League football.
The Old Trafford outfit also find themselves 3-1 down to Manchester City following the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie, with the second leg scheduled for Wednesday in the Etihad Stadium.
Fernandes’ signing may also take some heat off executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, with fans have been vocal in recent weeks regarding the club’s failure to sign any players during the January window.
The Red Devils have struggled in the transfer market since Woodward’s ascension into the role in 2013 and will be hopeful Fernandes bucks the current trend of disappointing big-money arrivals.