Manchester United are leading the race to sign Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes with recent reports claiming they have 'made contact' with the Portugal international.
The 24-year-old was one of the few players who remained at the José Alvalade Stadium at the start of the season following crowd trouble at their training ground, which saw the likes of Rui Patrício, William Carvalho and Gelson Martins leave in budget deals.
But Fernandes looks unlikely to stay at the club beyond this summer, with Portuguese outlet A Bola reporting that Manchester United have already developed 'informal contact' ahead of a move at the end of the season.
Serie A giants Milan are also interested in signing Fernandes, but Manchester United remain at the front of the queue for his signature.
It is unknown if clubs are willing to meet Fernandes' €100m release clause or if they will look to enter negotiations with Sporting's controversial president, Frederico Varandas.
Although the club will now want to let Fernandes leave in a cut-price deal despite his contract running until 2023, financial troubles within Portugal and with Sporting specifically could force their hand in negotiations at the end of the season.
Having previously been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, the midfielder hasn't hurt his case for a move to one of Europe's top five leagues with his performances this season.
Although Sporting CP are still sitting eight points behind Porto and city rivals Benfica in the league table, Fernandes has helped carry the club into the final of the Taça de Portugal for the second time in as many years - losing to C.D. Aves in last year's final.
Their passage into the final was sealed by Fernandes in stunning style, with the midfielder firing a curling long-range effort with his weaker foot into the back of the net to sneak the club in ahead of rivals Benfica during their semi-final match.
Source : 90min