In the past few days, there’s been claims of a clause in Bruno Fernandes’ contract which could have some influence on Sporting’s negotiations with Manchester United.

The player’s old deal with the Lions said that if the club rejected a bid of €35m, they would have to pay him a fine of €5m. And when he signed an extension last year, he publicly admitted he cancelled that clause and didn’t demand the money.

However, new claims insist there’s only been a change, and Sporting now must pay him the same amount in case they reject an offer of €50m this time.

And according to TVI24 journalist Rui Pedro Braz, that’s the main reason why Manchester United haven’t been offering over €50m for the midfielder.

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He says that for ‘naivety, lack of experience and bad faith’, someone told Manchester United about this ‘secret’ clause. And by knowing the financial problems that Sporting are going through, the Red Devils then decided they didn’t want to spend an extra penny on this signing.

Sporting weren’t going to accept €35m in the summer, with the clause widely known at the time. Tottenham offered €45m plus €20m in (unrealistic) bonuses and that was rejected, so it’s perhaps a stretch to believe they’d go for the €50m now.

Still, as we’ve mentioned before, it seems a little reckless of the Lisbon club to have included these clauses twice now, whilst expecting Bruno and his agent(s) to then forgo the money if a transfer doesn’t happen.

Perhaps if the transfer fails there’ll be another contract with another clause, with potentially higher compensation, for the summer. And therefore this €5m payment would just be kicked further down the road.

As for who told Manchester United about this clause, it’s unlikely to be Sporting, and it may have even happened after the initial meetings were held two weeks ago, hence the two clubs feeling the deal should be priced at different levels.

If United had, hypothetically, agreed on a rough €70m deal, and then found out about the clause, then it could explain them playing hardball.

There’s been multiple Portuguese reports of United sticking to €55m (with A Bola suggesting they’d be prepared to go to €55m, but there’d been nothing official on that) as a guaranteed payment, and Sporting asking for €60m.

Any bonuses on top of that probably wouldn’t impact the €50m claimed clause.