When the Sporting president Frederico Varandas travelled to meet Manchester City on Tuesday, most outlets in Portugal repeated the same thing: the subject was not Bruno Fernandes.
There was no interest in trying to drag a Manchester United and City war out of the skip. It was done, dead.
The clubs were discussing a partnership for the signing of youngsters around the world. And the insistence that the Sporting midfielder was not involved seemed like a clear brief from the Lisbon side.
So what does Correio da Manhã do today? They say there were talks about Bruno Fernandes, of course.
It’s claimed the midfielder was one of the subjects discussed in the meeting. Manchester City previously had a €45m bid for him rejected, Correio da Manhã says, with Sporting demanding €70m for the transfer.
The newspaper claims that with the good relationship between the clubs, Manchester City could come for the player again. But this race is still sees Manchester United in the lead.
Correio da Manhã says Frederico Varandas is now set to speak to Bruno Fernandes in Switzerland, where Sporting started their preseason. The player is said to have his ‘body and soul’ at Sporting, but still expects a transfer to the Premier League.
It’s been a few days since the other newspapers last talked about Fernandes’ transfer to England, with things looking a bit cold right now.
Still, Correio da Manhã are keeping the rumours alive, going against the flow. Which probably sends a pretty clear message.