Manchester United have not given up on the race for the Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to newspaper A Bola today.

The Portuguese outlet claims that although Manchester City have taken the lead for the 24-year-old, the Red Devils are ready to match their offer. This comes at the same time as the BBC’s Simon Stone revealed City aren’t even interested.

It’s been claimed Pep Guardiola’s side met the Sporting director Hugo Viana to know the conditions of a deal. And regarding the first approach, which the English press has been reporting as €55m plus two players, A Bola says that would be less than what the Lions demand.

That’s the reason things haven’t advanced so far, and that’s why there’s still time for Manchester United to stay in the battle.

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It’s said that the Red Devils are ‘equally’ interested in the midfielder, and have several scouting reports from the Sporting games they’ve watched this season.

A Bola claims that Manchester United are willing to go higher than the offer which was reported from Manchester City, also knowing that other clubs should place their bids once the season ends as well.

The end of the season is also when Bruno Fernandes will finally work on a transfer too. For now, he’s said to be totally focused on his club.

So what’s going on? Well, it wouldn’t hurt Sporting to get it out there that Manchester City were seriously interested, perhaps they know what buttons to press at Manchester United, if indeed their interest is genuine.

Ed Woodward could probably do with the nudge.

It’s likely the Lisbon club, or sources close to Sporting, where the Portuguese press have been getting City claims from. That probably can’t be so easily said for the Italian and English media.

And what of A Bola’s role in all of this? It’s worth noting they originally said Jorge Mendes had been at the City meeting with Hugo Viana, which Sport Witness later revealed was untrue.

They’ve since dropped that claim.