Bruno Fernandes is the playmaker Man Utd have been craving as SunSport watches transfer target in action

BRUNO FERNANDES was on fire for Sporting Lisbon ahead of a possible dream transfer to Manchester United.

And it was blindingly obvious as to why the Portuguese side rate their prized playmaker at £68million.

 Fernandes, 25, could have played his final match for Sporting Lisbon


Fernandes, 25, could have played his final match for Sporting LisbonCredit: Reuters

In what could be his final game for the club, midfielder Fernandes was on a different planet to his teammates against Maritimo.

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If this was to be his last appearance at the José Alvalade Stadium then at least Fernandes will go out with a bang.

There is no wonder that Sporting have dug their heels in over the sale of their best player.

His wand of a right foot alone is probably worth £30million.

Then there were the killer through-balls.

Had United striker Marcus Rashford been playing up top for Sporting last night then he would have scored a first-half hat-trick.

And when Sporting thought they had opened the scoring in the first half, of course it was Fernandes who supplied the cross.

Ex Liverpool and Sunderland centre-back Sebastian Coates was on the end to pull off an audacious over-head kick to finish it off, but it was ruled out for offside.

Soon after Fernandes stung the hands of Maritimo goalkeeper Abedzadeh with a 30-yard free-kick that dipped and swirled in front of him during the 1-0 win.

Sporting have been playing hardball over their valuation for the 25-year-old midfielder, but finally they appear to be willing to drop their asking price by £9m to get a deal done by Friday’s deadline.

As reported by SunSport last week, United offered £42.5m up front — with a further £8.5m in add-ons.

But according to reports in Lisbon, Sporting will strike a deal if they can get £46.5m and then another £12.5m in add-ons.

That package, worth £59m, is £25m more than Tottenham offers last summer.

The major stumbling block for executive vice chairman Ed Woodward in getting a deal finalised is the fact that the Portuguese side borrowed against the sale of Fernandes last summer and will only get around 50 per cent of any fee.

With Fernandes being the standout talent in Portugal, there is no surprise that Sporting want to squeeze every Euro out of him, either.

But there were also no signs of Fernandes suffering as the headline act during January’s longest-running transfer saga.

And that alone must impress United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It proves to the Norwegian boss that Fernandes has the mentality to cope with the pressures that will come with playing at Old Trafford and in the Premier League.

Fernandes completed his longest ever job interview in Lisbon last night as he did his talking on the pitch.

Now it’s down to Woodward and co to do theirs off the pitch to get the deal over the line.

Bruno Fernandes’ Man Utd transfer ‘imminent’ with midfielder to captain Sporting in last game against Maritimo


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