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Man Utd target Fernandes could leave Sporting, admits coach Keizer

09:41 EAT 29/07/2019
BrunoFernandes-cropped
The midfielder's emotional reaction in front of his own fans has fuelled further transfer speculation and his boss now concedes he could move on

Sporting head coach Marcel Keizer is not sure whether star midfielder Bruno Fernandes will remain at the club amid strong links to Manchester United.

Fernandes has been tipped to join the Red Devils throughout the transfer window as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to rebuild his squad after a difficult campaign last time out.

Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have already signed on at Old Trafford but it is believed Solskjaer wants at least one more player.

As a result, talk of a switch to Old Trafford for Fernandes has gathered pace with the Premier League season on the horizon.

The midfielder’s reaction at the end of Sunday’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Valencia also seemingly offered a hint about his future.

The Sporting captain appeared to be in tears in front of his own fans in Lisbon, prompting talk of an imminent departure.

Asked about Fernandes – who was in the starting line-up – Keizer admitted he was in the dark about his future.

"We'll see if we can keep our players and then we'll see what we do,” he told reporters after the game.

"I hope he [Fernandes] stays, of course, like everyone else at Sporting, but we don't know."

Fernandes, who joined from Sampdoria in 2017, has attracted the interest of a number of European clubs after an outstanding campaign for Sporting last year.

The 24-year-old scored 31 goals in all competitions and supplied 17 assists as Sporting won two domestic trophies as well as finishing third in Primeira Liga.

Reports in Portugal have claimed United are preparing a bid in the region of £56m ($70m) for Fernandes.

However, Sporting president Frederico Varandas has been quoted as saying that Fernandes would only be sold for a fee above that figure, meaning there needs to be some tough negotiations ahead if he is to end up at Old Trafford.

When asked about Fernandes’ future, Sporting team-mate Luciano Vietto admitted he hopes the former Udinese man will not be tempted away.

"He is the most important player of our team; I hope he will continue," said Vietto, who joined Sporting from Atletico Madrid this month.