The Portuguese media, or at least some sections of it, aren’t letting go of Bruno Fernandes to Manchester City.
Saturday’s edition of O Jogo has it splashed all over their front page.
Inside it’s claimed Sporting ‘will yield about €55m’ from the player’s transfer to Pep Guardiola’s club.
Once again it’s claimed two Manchester City players would be going the other way, although the details of that haven’t been defined. That would be related to whether it’s loan moves or permanent, and Marlos Moreno and Douglas Luiz are named as possibilities.
It’s starting to feel very Groundhog Day.
Hugo Viana, Sporting’s director of football, and Txiki Begiristain are said to have been in talks for weeks. Whilst the ‘conclusion’ of the transfer is ‘near’, any announcement would only be at the end of the season.
The player’s agent Miguel Pinho held meetings with City around a month ago, according to the claims, to set the transfer up. The Premier League champions have pushed ahead of Manchester United because they’ve agreed a wider partnership with Sporting, and it’s stated the Old Trafford club having ‘instability at various levels’ hasn’t helped.
So what’s going on, why is this rumour such a complete and utter mess?
To have a recap, the Portuguese media linked Manchester United for months, and then a couple of weeks ago they seriously dragged City in.
Then last weekend, it was reported by Sky Sports that it was pretty much a done deal. In all honesty, that looked like a punt based on the Portuguese reports.
Another reason for that line thought is the way Sky Sports framed it, they said, word for word: ‘Manchester City are closing in on a deal to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes… City see Fernandes as the right man to succeed Fernandinho in their midfield.’
That was clearly nonsense, the two players couldn’t be further apart in terms of midfielders.
At the beginning of this week, the Portuguese media insisted there was no agreed deal, and then City sent out information saying all the claims were false and there wasn’t even interest in the player.
The easiest conclusion then was that Sporting had been pushing these claims to their local media in order to drive up Bruno’s price.
But now things are rising again. Especially for O Jogo today.
Over at Record, they have it differently, saying Sporting want at least €70m for the player.