Cape Town - Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes played against
Maritimo on Monday evening as Manchester United appear to be no closer to
signing the midfielder.
Fernandes has been the subject of the longest-running
transfer saga of the January window with United steadfastly refusing to meet
the player's asking price after Sporting suddenly demanded almost 50% more than
they did last summer.
The 25-year-old has played every game for the Lisbon club
during the negotiations and the midfielder lead Sporting out at Estadio Jose
Alvalade once more on Monday evening in a 1-0 victory over Maritimo.
It seemed that any deal was deadlocked last week when
reports emerged that stated the two clubs were as much as £10 million apart in
their valuation of Fernandes.
The Times has now reported that United have increased their
bid for the midfielder to an initial £46.4 million but Sporting still expect a
better offer from another club for the Portugal international.
Sporting president Frederico Varandas and 'super-agent'
Jorge Mendes flew to Manchester on Thursday but left without brokering a deal
with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Negotiations are expected to continue this week as the clock
ticks down to Friday's transfer deadline.
The Athletic's David Ornstein claims there is a real
possibility that United, who are without three key players through injury and
are still a striker light after Romelu Lukaku's sale, might not make any
signings this month.
Portuguese newspaper Record, however, believes United are
planning to boost their offer to £46 million with up to £16 million to be paid
if certain performance targets are met.
Meanwhile, United are back in action on Wednesday as they
travel to Etihad Stadium to take on arch-rivals Manchester City in their Carabao
Cup second-leg clash.
Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time)
- TeamTalk Media