EPL

Rumour Has It: Man Utd set to complete Bruno Fernandes signing

By Sports Desk January 14, 2020

Bruno Fernandes is seemingly set for Manchester United, but just whether a deal can be done appears uncertain.

Fernandes, 25, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford from Sporting CP in January.

But there are contrasting reports over the status of a potential deal as United look to strengthen amid an injury crisis.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD SET TO COMPLETE FERNANDES SIGNING

Manchester United are set to sign Fernandes for £60million (€70m) by the end of the week, according to The Sun.

However, the Daily Mail reports United are offering £50m (€58.4m) plus £10m (€11.7m) in add-ons and Sporting want £64m (€74.7m) up front.

Meanwhile, Fernandes has told Sporting he wants to make the move this month, according to The Telegraph, while reports in Portugal suggest Marcos Rojo could return to Lisbon as part of the deal.

ROUND-UP

- Inter and Tottenham started talks over Christian Eriksen on Monday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A giants are reportedly hoping to land the midfielder for €10m (£8.6m) as his contract expires at the end of the season.

- John Stones has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal. The Sun reports Mikel Arteta is targeting the Manchester City defender, even if it is a loan move. Stones has played just 10 Premier League games this season.

- With Harry Kane set to be sidelined until at least April, Tottenham are eyeing a forward. The Independent claims Milan's Krzysztof Piatek and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani are options for Spurs this month.

- Another surprise target for Tottenham has emerged. Gazzetta dello Sport says Fernando Llorente could be set for a return to the Premier League club, having left at the end of last season and signed with Napoli.

- Inter are close to completing a deal for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, according to the Daily Mail. The report says Giroud has already agreed personal terms with Inter, who are set to pay between €5.3m (£4.5m) and €7.6m (£6.5m) for the Frenchman.

- Moves are expected at San Siro this month and Gianluca Di Marzio understands Roma have entered the race for Inter's Matteo Politano following Nicolo Zaniolo's serious knee injury.

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    Liverpool moved 16 points clear at the Premier League summit after Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah secured a deserved 2-0 victory over rivals Manchester United at Anfield.

    Second-place Manchester City drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace on Saturday and Liverpool, who still possess a game in hand, took full advantage to tighten their grip at the top and boost their chances of a first league title since 1990.

    United are the only team to take points off Jurgen Klopp's men this season and deployed a three-man defence – including Luke Shaw at centre-back – as they did when the teams drew 1-1 at Old Trafford in October.

    But Liverpool took just 14 minutes to take the lead through Van Dijk and, despite an improvement from the visitors in the second half, Salah raced away on the break to clinch the three points in second-half stoppage time.

    After Fred and Brandon Williams let Van Dijk get loose in the area Harry Maguire was United's last hope, but the Netherlands international leapt above the man who took his tag as the world's most expensive defender to nod in the opener.

    Liverpool had what they thought was a second ruled out by VAR in the 25th minute.

    David de Gea spilled a high ball under pressure from Van Dijk but referee Craig Pawson did not blow his whistle after putting it to his mouth. Play continued and Roberto Firmino curled home a fine finish, only for the challenge on the United goalkeeper – who received a yellow card for his protests – to be deemed a foul upon review.

    Andreas Pereira failed to convert a rare United chance against the run of play from inside the six-yard box, before De Gea managed to keep out Sadio Mane on the stroke of half-time.

    Liverpool came flying out of the blocks in the second half, with Salah scuffing a glorious opportunity wide and De Gea brilliantly tipping a venomous drive from Jordan Henderson onto the post.

    Anthony Martial showed a lack of composure when he hacked high and wide after a brilliant one-two with Pereira before the hour mark, while Mane passed up an opening after a swift break from the hosts.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer switched to a back four for the final 15 minutes but, as United pushed for an equaliser, Salah punished the visitors by surging clear from a corner and holding off Daniel James to seal the win with a cool finish.
     

    What does it mean? United need attacking reinforcements

    Solskjaer said pre-game Marcus Rashford was facing "weeks" out with a back injury, though reports subsequently emerged claiming he could be facing up to three months out.

    With James and Martial doing little up top, United would be wise to look to the transfer market to bolster their options. Failing to secure the signature of Erling Haaland, who scored a hat-trick after coming off the bench on his Borussia Dortmund debut on Saturday, now looks like even more of a blow.

    Van Dijk a colossus

    Not only did he score the first goal, Van Dijk was immovable at the heart of Liverpool's defence and comfortably dealt with United's limp attack. His exemplary distribution from the back helped keep Solskjaer's men on the back foot for much of the game.

    The Pereira conundrum

    Having made a marginal impact as a winger at Valencia, Pereira fared little better when deployed in a deep-lying midfield role last season. He played as a number 10 at Anfield and missed United's best chance while creating just one chance for Martial.

    What's next?

    Liverpool travel to Molineux to face Wolves on Thursday, with United at home to Burnley a day prior.

  • Inter must play at 200kmph - Conte Inter must play at 200kmph - Conte

    Antonio Conte felt Inter were sluggish in a 1-1 draw at Lecce and warned the Nerazzurri cannot afford to dip below 200 kilometres per hour in their intensity.

    Inter had the opportunity to return to the top of Serie A, at least until Juventus played later on Sunday, but toiled to a second successive league draw.

    Substitute Alessandro Bastoni scored his first Nerazzurri goal to seemingly set the away side on course for a scrappy win 19 minutes from time, only for Marco Mancosu to hit back.

    Conte was disappointed with the lack of vigour in his side's display, claiming they are merely "a normal team" when playing at that level.

    "The draw stems from the fact that we must always go at 200 [km] an hour," he said.

    "When someone is below that, we cannot afford it. Then the level of the team drops and it can happen that you draw a game that you should have taken three points from.

    "We are not a team that manages to bring home the victory going at an average speed. We must always go to the maximum - we have done so in all the matches of the first half of the season.

    "When we can't get to the maximum, we are a normal team."

    Conte was called out by Jose Mourinho earlier in the week amid the perception he had openly discussed Inter's interest in Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.

    Inter chief Giuseppe Marotta spoke about Eriksen on Sunday, but Conte was not willing to follow suit.

    "This month is difficult to manage. I think I have been very clear - even if sometimes the things I say are then exploited," he said. "I don't want to talk about the market.

    "That is for the club - I am the coach and I have to try to bring out the best in my players."

  • Inter chief insists Nerazzurri entitled to meet Eriksen but puts Giroud deal in doubt Inter chief insists Nerazzurri entitled to meet Eriksen but puts Giroud deal in doubt

    Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta hit back at suggestions Tottenham are annoyed by their pursuit of Christian Eriksen and is adamant they are completely within their rights to open talks with the midfielder.

    Eriksen has less than six months left on his Spurs contract, allowing him to make a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club regarding an end-of-season free transfer.

    Inter are reportedly attempting to sign the Denmark international this month, with the Italian club said to have offered €10million, though Spurs boss Jose Mourinho claimed such a bid has not been received.

    Mourinho has been vocal in his annoyance at Inter's behaviour during the saga, accusing them of showing a lack of respect to Spurs.

    But Marotta – who was supposedly seen having dinner with Eriksen's agent Martin Schoots – insists Inter have not crossed the line.

    "He [Eriksen] is a Tottenham player, but we know his contract expires in June," Marotta told Sky Sport Italia, before responding to claims he and Schoots met. "It's completely legitimate and authorised by current regulations to see his agent during this time.

    "But, at this point, to say that he will arrive in January or June, is a long way off because the competition is so great."

    Chelsea's Olivier Giroud is another Premier League target of Inter's with the Frenchman out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

    But, after the plug was pulled on a proposed swap deal involving Matteo Politano and Roma's Leonardo Spinazzola, Marotta accepts it is likely Inter will need to move players on before any move for Giroud can be signed off on.

    When asked if shifting Politano is necessary to bring in Giroud, Marotta said: "Yes, it could be the case.

    "It's normal that management and market operators to strike up this or that negotiation, it is equally normal to estimate that a conclusion cannot be reached for multiple reasons.

    "With his entourage, we have spoken and we will make the right evaluations. The moves could be linked, but what doesn't happen today could happen tomorrow."

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