Manchester United are ready to firm up their interest in Bruno Fernandes, with the Sporting Lisbon midfielder keen on a move priced at around €70m.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified the 26-year-old as an option to strengthen a position depleted by the departures of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini plus the long-term injury to Scott McTominay.
While United have refused to comment on their expected approach for the Portugal international it is understood Sporting are braced for Fernandes to be sold to United. Sporting are exploring alternatives to replace a player who has 13 goals in 22 appearances this season and 19 caps for his country.
At the weekend Jorge Silas, Sporting's manager, was asked if Fernandes will be available for Friday's derby with Benfica.
He said: “I can’t guarantee any of these things because I don’t know. Bruno is a huge player and all players like him have a lot of [interest from the] market. I don’t like to think about it, but I’ll be thinking of alternatives in case Bruno leaves. I hope it doesn’t happen, but we have to start thinking that.”