Manchester United’s reported pursuit of Bruno Fernandes had gone quiet, and the waiting game may have worked in our favour.
Sporting are keen to sell for financial reasons, and The Telegraph report they have slashed their asking price.
Their hopes of landing a £70 million fee are just a dream at this point. The paper claim a fee of just £45 million would be enough.
This is a price at which United simply have to take a chance on Fernandes, who scored 31 goals for Sporting last season.
Infuriatingly, United are not working on the deal because they are focusing fully on closing the signature of right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The Telegraph report United have told Sporting they want to be kept informed of all developments.
This has allowed Tottenham to move into the fray, who held a meeting with Fernandes’ agent this week. It is speculated this could prompt United into action.
Quite why Ed Woodward can’t manage to focus on more than one deal or area of the team at once is beyond us.
For a club as powerful financially as United, the way dealings are sometimes conducted seems amateurish.
Fernandes would add a spark United need in midfield and take some of the pressure off Paul Pogba.
His ability to score from long range would be an asset and his set piece delivery was particularly impressive for Portugal in the recent Nations League matches.
There are not many midfielders with his goalscoring record around, let alone who are available for just £45 million.
With our recent track record, getting the bargain deal over the line is easier said than done. When it’s United, teams up the price on our name value. But even £50-55 million would be a very good deal.
United need to start seizing the initiative, or risk missing out. Another team capable of multi-tasking, or one which make Fernandes a priority, may not wait around.