Premier League: Who will finish in the top four?
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Bruno Fernandes’ agent has reportedly flown into Manchester to both step up talks over the midfielder’s new contract and also assess Manchester United’s interest in another potential transfer target. The Portuguese star is increasingly likely to sign an extension to remain at Old Trafford.
But as well as completing those talks, the Red Devils also have their eye on a player who is currently starring for Fernandes’ former team Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes had a successful three-year spell at Sporting, winning two Taca de Portugals and one Portuguese League Cup.
That earnt him a move to United, where he has since become a key member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
His impressive performances have led to the Red Devils seeking to tie him down to a longer-term deal.
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To help push that through, the Mirror report that Miguel Pinto, the midfielder’s agent, arrived in the city last Tuesday to step up negotiations.
But Pinto had other business besides Fernandes’ new contract to deal with in Manchester.
It is stated that he was also there to “gauge the strength of interest” from both United and their rivals Manchester City in Sporting youngster Nuno Mendes.
Mendes broke into Rúben Amorim’s team once football restarted last summer and has become an ever-present.
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He can play at both left-back and left midfield, mainly being selected on the wing by Amorim this season.
Though he has notched just one assist from that position so far this campaign, his performances have attracted the eye of United and City.
But to complicate a potential deal, Mendes still has four years left on his contract, with the Mirror stating that Sporting will not sell for less than his £60.25million buy-out clause.
That is proving to be too expensive for United, who are believed to be eyeing a new back-up for the revitalised Luke Shaw with Alex Telles failing to impress.
But other areas of the squad are viewed as being in more need of reinforcements, with left-back and left winger not among United’s priorities for the summer transfer window.
That means that it is the Red Devils’ fierce rivals who are now in pole position to sign Mendes, with the release clause easily affordable.
Left-back will be one of Pep Guardiola’s priorities in the upcoming market, with winger Oleksandr Zinchenko currently being deployed in that position.
Mendes’ season has now finished, with the 18-year-old helping Sporting to win their first Primeira Liga since 2002.
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