Real Madrid will turn their attention to Sporting Lisbon star Bruno Fernandes if they fail to seal a late deal for Manchester United’s wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba.
Pogba, the French World Cup winner, has been Madrid’s No.1 transfer target this summer after making clear his desire to quit Old Trafford for pastures new.
However, Madrid have been unable to reach an agreement with United, who are believed to be demanding a whopping £153million for their prized asset.
And, with the European transfer window closing next Monday, Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Madrid may step up their pursuit of Fernandes as they look to bolster their midfield ranks.
It is claimed that Fernandes, who was strongly linked with a move to United as Pogba’s replacement at Old Trafford, would cost around £63million.
Sporting Lisbon’s valuation is within Madrid’s budget, with Bernabeu chiefs swaying towards the Portuguese midfielder after growing frustrated with their pursuit of Pogba.
His Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo recently said no one knows why Fernandes won’t leave Sporting Lisbon to better his career on the continent.
Discussing his compatriot, Ronaldo – who previously left Sporting Lisbon to kick-start his own career at Manchester United – suggested the midfielder is holding himself back.
“In the national team you have Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, who nobody knows why he doesn’t leave,” Ronaldo told TVI.
“In the national team, you have a lot of talent, so I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Possibly this new generation will be the best at the talent level, but that’s not enough.
“They have to want to. I have spoken to him. Positive, I’m a captain who wants to help and be helped.
“The atmosphere in the national team is spectacular. The last few years have been the most enjoyable, both because they want to learn and because there is this.
“The most responsible for this is Fernando Santos and the president of the FPF.”