Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still hopes Manchester United can sign Bruno Fernandes before the end of the January transfer window. United opened talks with Sporting Lisbon over the midfielder two weeks ago but have hit a roadblock in negotiations.
The Red Devils had an opening bid of £50million (plus £15m in add-ons) rejected last week after speaking face-to-face with Sporting delegates in London.
Sporting are holding out for £68m despite financial struggles the Primeira Liga side are currently going through.
Both clubs are staying firm on their valuation of Fernandes for now – much to the dismay of Solskjaer.
According to The Telegraph, the United boss is still hoping that Fernandes will arrive before the January 31 deadline.
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Dialogue remains open between both parties but it looks increasingly likely that the sought-after 25-year-old will leave in the summer window.
Jorge Mendes, who has been brought in to help the deal, suggested as much when speaking to Sky Sports News on Wednesday.
“I’m not sure if [it will happen] now or the end of the season,” the revered player representative said.
“If he (Fernandes) will not leave now he will leave for sure in the summer.
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“Sporting, they have spoken already with other clubs and something will happen.”
Fernandes is contracted to the Jose Alavalade Stadium until June 2023 after penning a new deal in November.
He is understood to have agreed personal terms with United, however, in a package which would see him earn £150,000-a-week on a five-and-a-half-year contract.
Solskjaer is eager to bolster his midfield urgently with first-choice midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay sidelined until mid-February at least.
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The Norwegian coach flew to Portugal to watch Fernandes earlier this month, days before United opened talks.
Solskjaer has generally remained tight-lipped about the transfer saga but admitted after United’s 2-0 loss to Burnley on Wednesday night that the club are continuing to work on deals.
“We are looking to improve, we have got our targets,” Solskjaer told BT Sport after the game.
“We have started a clear-out and now I am going to be answering these questions until it [transfer window] closes. We are working on things.
“For me the most important thing is we have to perform on the pitch. Tonight wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team.”
He added: “I’m responsible for what is happening on the pitch, we’re looking to strengthen, we need to strengthen. We know that.
“We took the decision to let some players go as we needed to start afresh with a clear sight on the target in front of us which is a certain type of player.
“We know we need to get quality in and numbers in. We are working to improve and get players in. Hopefully, we can get something over the line.”
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