London (AFP) – Manchester United have agreed a deal worth up to 80 million euros (£67 million, $88 million) to sign Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms,” United said in a statement.
Fernandes, 25, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for many months, but United were previously unwilling to meet Sporting’s valuation.
Sporting confirmed the deal is worth an initial fee of 55 million euros with another 25 million euros in performance-related add-ons.
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Thanks captain,” Sporting tweeted alongside of video of some of Fernandes’s finest moments for the club.
United are badly in need of midfield reinforcements due to long-term injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
Fernandes has scored 63 goals in 137 appearances for Sporting since returning to his homeland after spells with Udinese and Sampdoria in Italy.
He was also part of the Portugal side that won the inaugural Nations League in June and has scored twice in 19 international caps.
There had been mounting pressure on United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to land at least one marquee name in the remainder of the transfer window.
Woodward, who has overseen the club’s poor recruitment over the past seven years, had been the target of the fans’ anger in a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley last week that left the Red Devils still six points adrift of the Premier League top four in fifth.
Police have launched an investigation into an attack on Woodward’s Cheshire home on Tuesday night when a hooded group targeted the property with flares and graffiti.
United’s chances of a top-four finish will depend greatly on how they fare in their next two league games at home to Wolves on Saturday and then away to fourth-placed Chelsea on February 17.
Fernandes is expected to watch United in action when they travel to Manchester City in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, trailing 3-1 from the first leg.
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