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Real Madrid open talks over Bruno Fernandes signing as Pogba hopes fade

13:50 BST 28/08/2019
Bruno Fernandes Paul Pogba Sporting Real Madrid
Los Blancos have begun discussions over a move for the Sporting CP midfielder as Manchester United continue to play hardball over the Frenchman

Real Madrid have opened talks over the signing of Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes as their hopes of luring Paul Pogba to the Bernabeu appear to be in tatters.

The France World Cup winner had been Zinedine Zidane's primary target for the remainder of the summer transfer window and there had been hope from the Madrid end that a deal could be struck.

Pogba outlined his intention to potentially leave United before the season started, claiming that it could be time for a new challenge following three years at Old Trafford.

But as reported by Goal , Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been determined to keep hold of the midfielder and, despite some supporters appearing to be keen to see him leave, that stance as not changed.

United are not willing to part with one of the star names without the ability to bring in a suitable replacement, with Premier League clubs now unable to buy new players until January 2020.

And, with the Spanish transfer window closing on September 2, Madrid have decided to turn their attention elsewhere and to Bruno Fernandes who, ironically, had been linked with United for much of the summer.

Sources have told Goal that a representative from the Liga club has met with the agent of the Sporting midfielder, with the Portuguese side having informed Los Blancos they want €80 million for the 24-year-old.

The amount is less than the €100m buyout clause in the player's contract, which doesn't expire until 2023.

As well as United, Atletico Madrid and Tottenham had also been interested in signing Bruno over the summer months although it would appear that Zidane's side are now the clear favourites to land the Portugal international.

Madrid had also been linked with a sensational move for Neymar, although as reported by Goal , Barcelona are in the driving seat to complete a move for the Brazilian and talks have been progressing.

Zidane has already recruited a number of new faces over the summer, with Eden Hazard the standout arrival from Chelsea.

The likes of Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Rodrygo have also been brought in as the Liga side look to close the gap on Barcelona, who finished 19 points above them in winning the title last season.

James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale, meanwhile, both seem to be staying put at the Bernabeu.

The duo had been linked with exits throughout the summer, with neither appearing to be part of Zidane's long-term plan.

A series of injuries, including cruciate ligament damage suffered by Marco Asensio, appears to have changed the manager's thinking, however, with both having been involved in Madrid's opening league games of the season.