Manchester United lead the race for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes
Midfield reinforcements are needed
Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Sporting Clube de Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
They report that United have begun informal discussions with Sporting regarding the potential signing of the in-form midfielder, and that the Premier League club are in 'pole position' to secure his signature.
United will face competition for the 24-year-old from AC Milan, who are hoping a return to Italy will be enough to convince Fernandes to turn down United, after the midfielder spent five years in Italy, playing for Novara, Udinese and Sampdoria before signing for Sporting.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to reinforce his midfield this summer, with Ander Herrera set to leave on a free to Paris Saint-Germain. Scott McTominay was impressive on Wednesday night at the base of midfield, but concerns remain over Fred's progress and Nemanja Matić is not getting any younger.
Fernandes boasts an excellent goalscoring record from midfield, with 26 goals in 45 games in all competitions this season for Sporting, who are becoming resigned to the fact they will not be able to keep hold of their captain this summer.
His release clause currently stands at a whopping £86m, but United are hoping to strike a deal that would see Fernandes move to Old Trafford for a smaller sum of money.
Fernandes was one of the few senior players at Sporting to remain at the club last summer, after physical attacks from disgruntled fans after their Europa League failure pushed several players out the club, including goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who joined Wolves.
William Carvalho and Gelson Martins also departed Sporting last summer, signing for Real Betis and Atlético Madrid respectively.
Fernandes will likely be rewarded for his loyalty this summer with a move away, most likely to Manchester United.