​The clock is ticking on Manchester United's pursuit of Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. With just a few days to go, everyone needs to get a move on.

The deal was certain, then impossible, then completed, then stalled and now looks to be stuck in purgatory. Everyone seems to know what's going on, yet every report seems to say different things. 

Ah, the fun of a Bruno Fernandes Daily.

Bruno Fernandes

We'll kick things off with ​Sky Sports News, who claim that the two sides are still yet to agree on a transfer fee. It is thought that they are around £10m apart, with ​United reluctant to go higher than £42m.

United were confident that that would be enough, but they are prepared to up their offer to £46m, which still falls short of Sporting's valuation.

That's backed up by ​The Times, who note that United's new offer is worth £46.4m specifically, but Sporting want £50.6m - a figure which they are expected to be offered from another European club before the closure of the window.

Agent Jorge Mendes flew to Manchester to negotiate the deal, but after seeing United's hesitance, he suggested that the Red Devils might miss out on signing him if they wait too much longer.

Bruno Fernandes,Pizzi

​The Daily Mail add that the two sides aren't even speaking directly as they are simply so frustrated with one another.

That report states that it was Sporting who forced the delay by increasing their asking price to closer to £63m, despite initially suggesting that £42m would get the job done.

United are said to be too 'proud' to simply accept Sporting's change of opinion, which is why this deal is taking so long.

The Athletic's ​David Ornstein adds that it could come down to whether Sporting feel their need to raise money is more important than keeping Fernandes, and it is described as a 'realistic possibility' that United could end up without any new signings this month.


Nevertheless, there is still plenty of optimism. ​O Jogo believe that a deal is imminent, with Fernandes saying his final goodbyes to his teammates (again). 

United have supposedly offered a €55m fee to sign Fernandes, with a further €15m in add-ons, but Sporting actually want an initial fee closer to €60m. 

Furthermore, that additional €15m still doesn't work for Sporting, who are unhappy with the minor details of the deal. The two sides are seemingly looking for different payment plans, but that is not seen as a major issue.

A compromise is suggested as a likely option, and the latest discussions are described as an 'important step' for both clubs, as they look to close the deal before the end of January.

O Jogo are so confident in a deal that they add that Monday's meeting with Marítimo will be his final game for Sporting, after which he will say goodbye. The claim is that the two sides have agreed terms, but plenty of outlets suggest otherwise.

Everyone involved is thought to be confident that a deal will be agreed, even though nothing about the payment has been decided yet.

Sporting want more money, and they want that money to be paid faster than United have offered. That certainly does sound like a problem, but the two teams are expected to thrash things out - eventually.

For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!