If you believed the summer rumours, Bruno Fernandes was closing in on a move to Manchester United every few days. But, when the English window slammed shut, the Portuguese international remained at Sporting Lisbon without the Red Devils even making a bid.

It was the Portuguese press driving the narrative – perhaps with a little help from Fernandes’s agent – but English publications were quick to repeat the rumours, no matter how clumsily they were recycled in a bid to keep them fresh.

There is no doubting the midfielder’s quality. But it is telling that United had a whole summer to complete a deal but steered clear. Could it be – shock horror – that United didn’t want the player in the first place?

It wouldn’t be the first time United have been linked with a Sporting star time and again. The same happened with William Carvalho, who was allegedly on the verge of an Old Trafford move more times than we can count (ESPN).


Then there was Nico Gaitan, the then-Benfica winger who United apparently loved…just not enough to actually sign.

(Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

According to the Sun, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will get the full £75million from Romelu Lukaku’s sale to spend in January. And Fernandes’s name is again thrown into the mix.

A link suggesting United balked at the player’s fee because he gives the ball away too often is unlikely to put off the Portuguese press if he remains at Sporting this season. Expect the rumours to continue as long as he remains in the Primiera Liga.

But, as with William and Gaitan before him, don’t expect him to actually arrive at United.

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