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‘Fernandes asking price pushed up for Man Utd’ – Red Devils desperately need creativity, says Cleverley

20:33 GMT+3 18/01/2020
Bruno Fernandes Sporting Lisbon 2019-20
The situation at Old Trafford is pushing asking prices up, says the former midfielder, with rivals aware of what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer requires

Manchester United are having to deal with inflated asking prices in the January transfer window, says Tom Cleverley, with their £65 million ($85m) pursuit of Bruno Fernandes a prime example.

The former Red Devils midfielder thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to find a creative spark.

Sporting's Portugal international has been identified as the man to fill that void at Old Trafford.

A protracted saga continues to drag on, with no deal agreed as yet, but United have been warned that the struggles they have endured in recent years mean they are going to have to get used to paying more than market value for top targets.

“When Manchester United are involved and in the situation they are in, clubs tend to put their asking price up and that looks like the case this time around,” Cleverley told Radio 5 Live when asked about Fernandes.

“They are struggling to find that midfielder that can open teams up and they desperately need somebody that can do that.”

United had hoped that Cleverley would fill that role for them after seeing him step out of their famed academy system.

The 30-year-old made 79 appearances for the Red Devils between 2011 and 2015, along with a number of loan spells, but left for Everton having struggled to fulfil his potential.

A man with 13 senior England caps to his name has no complaints at having been shown to the exits, but has aired his disappointment at becoming a scapegoat for some during David Moyes' ill-fated reign at Old Trafford .

“The leaving part wasn’t the hard part, Louis van Gaal sat me down and said it how it is: ‘I’m signing Daley Blind so the opportunities are going to be limited’,” Cleverley said.

“The hard part for me was the year under Moyes, the way the fans turned on you.

“I had been there since 11 years old and for the fans to go as sour as it did was disappointing.

“I was a player who would try 100 per cent every game, it wasn’t for a lack of trying, I just wasn’t good enough that year.

“That was the thing that disappointed me, but the actual leaving I didn’t have a problem with.

“It was a difficult time for me and my family. Living in Manchester, playing for Manchester United, it’s a bit of a goldfish bowl. It comes with the territory and I’ve got over it now.”