The Bruno Fernandes story has been a huge saga.

First Manchester United were linked over a period of months, and then came claims their neighbours City had moved in and were close to agreeing a deal.

Manchester City then appeared to brief the media closest to them that there was no genuine interest in Bruno.

One assumption after that was Sporting were leaking the claims and trying to drive up the player’s price, potentially attempting to pressure Manchester United.

Yet in Portugal some stories continued, they won’t have had the City briefing but must have known about it. Most of the claims this week had dropped Pep Guardiola’s side from the running, but Wednesday’s edition of A Bola stated they were still in the fight, whilst talking up Manchester United attempts at closing a deal quickly.

Interestingly, A Bola have now published an article, which states: ‘Manchester City, through our newspaper, took a position on the news that put Bruno Fernandes (Sporting) as a target of the club.

“Manchester City are not and have never been interested in the player Bruno Fernandes. They do not and does not intend to make any offer for the player,” explained the City source to A BOLA.

The midfielder is closer to rivals Manchester United, while Tottenham will also have entered the race as they look for an alternative to Eriksen, who will be leaving.’

This is really intriguing, because A Bola make it clear this is a message from City, and it seems like the Premier League club have been in contact. It’s potentially not a coincidence that this comes on the same day the Portuguese newspaper said Guardiola’s side were still fighting.

This has happened before when they insisted they’d pulled away from Alexis Sanchez, and also when they went cool on Fred.

The club is linked to endless players every month, so that they’re so insistent over killing the Bruno story perhaps shows they have a good idea he’s off somewhere else… maybe somewhere pretty close.

So why have they even bothered? Manchester City clearly don’t want to be seen to have lost out, whether there was ever any interest or not.