Sporting Libson want to tie down Bruno Fernandes to a new long-term deal – despite the fact they are still open to selling him in the January transfer window.
Fernandes, 25, attracted interest from Premier League duo Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as Spanish giants Real Madrid, but a summer move away from Portugal failed to materialise.
Portuguese media outlet A Bola claim that Sporting officials are set to meet with the midfielder and his representatives over the weekend to discuss a new contract.
The report states that Primeria Liga side are prepared to offer him up to £1.8million-a-year should he agree to extend his current deal, which runs to the summer of 2022.
Although, that would still fall short of the reported £3.1m that Spurs were prepared to pay the Portugal international.
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However, the report further claims that Sporting are still considering selling the highly-rated midfielder – but only for a whopping £63m.
The recent revelations are interesting, considering that United hierarchy have reportedly given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the green light to sign a new midfielder in January.
The Manchester Evening News claim that the club will make funds available to the Norwegian as they seek a replacement for Marouane Fellaini or Ander Herrera following their recent departures, which has left the club particularly thin in central midfield.
The top-flight clubs agreed for the domestic market to end before the 2019/20 campaign got under way, meaning it was a short summer of spending in England.
But a number of transfers could go through before September begins with European windows open until later.
The market in China has already closed so no players will be completing mega-money moves to the Far East but clubs across the continent can still buy.
The Scottish transfer window remains open as well.
Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez are being heavily linked with leaving Manchester United, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta could depart Chelsea and there are question marks over the likes of Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Elneny and Mario Lemina among others.
And while Jurgen Klopp’s squad were all smiles as they came out to thank supporters for making the trip after the game, Henderson and Milner had some choice words as they gathered their team-mates together for a chat on the pitch.
Andy Robertson, a stand-out performer for the Reds last season, admitted their performance was nowhere near good enough against the Serie A outfit – revealing that the aforementioned duo let rip at the rest of the squad.
“It wasn’t good enough,” said Robertson. “We were miles off it. We were outplayed.
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“At times we looked foolish by not pressing as a team.
“And we need to look at it and improve as our season starts in a week and it doesn’t get any harder than Man City.”
He added: “We need to be a hell of a lot better than this.
“Jordan Henderson and James Milner pulled us in for a huddle on the pitch and what was said cannot be repeated until after 9pm.”
Meanwhile, Klopp insists his side will be a ‘different animal’ by the time they face Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield final next weekend.
Klopp’s men have one final pre-season encounter – against Lyon in Geneva on Wednesday evening – before their Wembley showdown with Pep Guardiola’s men on
“Obviously they had a celebration in Senegal and I’m happy about that because it showed that they respect the competition and saw the second place as a success, which is nice.
“He is now on holiday, not the longest one – he will be back on August 5, after the Manchester City game. That means he had two weeks. There is four or five days to prepare for Norwich, 10 days for Chelsea [in the UEFA Super Cup].”
The 27-year-old is said to have asked to leave as early as last summer, but a move elsewhere was denied by PSG.
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In his two seasons with PSG Neymar has won Ligue 1 twice, but the French outfit have failed to make their mark on the Champions League despite dominating domestically.
Neymar’s return to Camp Nou is also being heavily backed in the betting markets, with the odds on him re-signing for the LaLiga champions this summer being drastically cut following a spate of bets on the move.
According to Oddschecker, just last month Neymar was 16/1 to join Barca this summer, but that’s been cut to 1/4 given the latest reports.
This means the bookies consider Neymar returning to Barcelona has an 80 per cent possibility of occurring.
Real Madrid are third favourites for the Brazil superstar at 25/1, while both Manchester clubs come next with United 50/1 and City 66/1 to secure his signature.
Oddschecker spokesperson Callum Wilson said: “Kylian Mbappe has an increasingly large number of purring Parisians eating out of the palm of his hand, and it’s looking like this might spell the end of the road for Neymar at PSG.
“There’s no doubting his superstar qualities, but one can’t help but think the Brazilian will return to Barcelona with his tail firmly tucked between his legs – and European failure his one lasting legacy in France.”
The transfer saga surrounding Manchester United star Paul Pogba threatens to rumble on throughout the entirety of the summer as speculation about the midfielder’s future intensifies.
After Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December, fans saw an upturn in the player’s form which coincided with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival as interim boss.
But results soon began to take a turn for the worse, as did the standard of the France international’s performances. His comments in the media did little to qualm the chaos brewing inside Old Trafford.
It seemed inevitable the 26-year-old would be heading to the Bernabeu to play for Zinedine Zidane, but then rumours of a move to former club Juventus began to gather pace.
Having missed out on the Champions League yet again, the Bianconeri are desperate to add a European crown to their trophy room.As you can see from this exclusive interview with leading French journalist Julien Laurens, a return to Turin is not beyond the realms of possibility.
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United’s defence has been cause for concern for years, shipping a record 54 goals – their highest in the Premier League era. Signing De Ligt would drastically improve their backline and send a message to the rest of the world.
Transfermarkt Value: £67million
Bruno Fernandes – Sporting Lisbon
According to O Jogo, a Portuguese news outlet, United officials are meeting with Fernandes’ agent Miguel Pinho in London today.
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder scored 31 goals last season and has firmly established himself as a Portugal international – lifting the inaugural Nations League trophy at the end of the season.
Tottenham Hotspur are also interested in the 24-year-old, but are reluctant to meet Sporting’s £70million evaluation.
Another signing which would re-establish United as one of Europe’s most attractive sides, Fernandes could fill the void left by Ander Herrera, while his runs into the box could create space in behind for Pogba to exploit.
Transfermarkt Value: £50million
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Although much of the talk surrounding Antoine Griezmann joining Barcelona, a deal is still not done yet.
A huge fan of David Beckham, United could offer Alexis Sanchez as part of any potential deal to ensure the 28-year-old’s preferred number seven shirt is available.
Pogba and Griezmann have enjoyed success on the international stage together and would surely welcome the chance to work alongside one another on a regular basis at club level.
Transfermarkt Value: £75million
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
By now, Sancho is an established name after his excellent season for Dortmund and England. The 19-year-old has taken his chance with the Bundesliga side.
A product of the Manchester City academy, Sancho left these shores in 2017 and has slowly developed into one of the most dangerous young talents in Europe.
Last season, he scored 12 goals and grabbed 14 assists in the German top-flight to prove he had made the transition from prospect to superstar seamlessly.
Not only would the winger fit in with Solskjaer’s transfer policy of signing promising young players, Pogba could revel in the extra responsibility of helping nurture the talented teen.
Transfermarkt Value: £100million
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
While this transfer may seem as likely as United winning the Premier League next season, there is a method to the madness.
Kante’s rise to the top was astronomical, going from Ligue 2 to the European Championships in two years. Now a Premier League and World Cup winner, Kante has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world.
But his last season at Stamford Bridge was a difficult one to say the least. Played in a more advanced role by Maurizio Sarri, Kante struggled to showcase his defensive nous and tenacious tackling which are trademarks of his normal game.
Although incoming boss Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend, the France international may feel a move away may be the most beneficial option for his career. Playing alongside Pogba at the World Cup last year brought the best out of both men.
This time last year, Upamecano was described by those in Germany as ‘the best young defender in world football’ ahead of De Ligt.
It would be incorrect to suggest the 20-year-old’s development has slowed, rather the Ajax captain has simply excelled that much.
“He loves defending, getting the ball off opponents,” France youth coach Jean-Claude Giuntini said of Upamecano prior to the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2015. “He’s still young and has room for improvement, but he has a great attitude, and a lot of determination.”