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Transfer rumor roundup Manchester United
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Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd eyes $32M teen phenom; Bruno Fernandes latest

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Friday reports claimed Bruno Fernandes may be in the stands as a Manchester United player as soon as Sunday’s match with Liverpool.

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Then came claims that Sporting Lisbon had waffled on either price of payment plan for their megastar midfielder, throwing the deal back in the balance.

Sky Sports says the deal is far from dead, with Fernandes “desperate” to make the move to Old Trafford, one made by countrymen Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani before him.

Still, it’s all a bit wild after Friday, where United fans watched the Lisbon Derby just hoping for the player’s healthy passage in what was largely viewed as a farewell to the fans.

It still may be, but nothing’s coming easy for the Red Devils these days.

The Times claims that United is making a big investment in its long-term future with more than $30 million in the offing for a 16-year-old Championship star.

There would reportedly be an 18-month loan back to Birmingham City for Jude Bellingham, whose Championship side is lagging near the bottom of the table.

Bellingham doesn’t turn 17 until the summer and has already rung up 25 senior appearances with four goals and an assist for the Blues.

United’s Sunday rivals Liverpool are also eyeing a youngster, albeit one with less first team experience.

Pedro Brazao of Nice is 17 years old and being tracked by plenty of teams, according to RMC Sport, with Liverpool joining the fray.

The Portuguese youth international made his Ligue 1 debut off the bench in April, but has yet to hit the pitch this season. Nice isn’t exactly channeling goals, either, but Brazao is an exciting prospect.  Chalk this one as one for the future.

Report: Fernandes wants Man United transfer

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Multiple reports claim that Bruno Fernandes wants to complete a transfer from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United.

Fernandes, 25, was heavily linked with a move to United in the summer but the Portuguese midfielder wasn’t allowed to leave.

It is believed United and Sporting have been in talks in the UK over a $77 million deal but no transfer fee has been agreed.

Talks continue and per The Telegraph Fernandes has made it crystal clear that he wants to complete the move to United. Other reports state that Lisbon want Man United’s Marcos Rojo, who previously played for them, as part of the deal.

What would the Red Devils be getting if they sealed the deal for Fernandes?

He has been a revelation over the past two-and-a-half seasons at Sporting, scoring 39 goals in the Portuguese top-flight. Fernandes fits the bill perfectly for what United need. His creativity, composure on the ball and eye for a goal have been missing from their play in midfield as they sit five points off the top four of the Premier League with 16 games to go.

What this transfer would mean for Paul Pogba‘s future at Man United remains to be seen as Fernandes would be playing in the same attacking midfield position Pogba prefers to play in. This season United’s main problem has been breaking down teams from the bottom half of the table who sit back and defend as their counter-attacking style has worked well against top six teams.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spent big to strengthen United’s defense since he arrived and that has worked with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka impressive since their summer transfers. If United do sign Fernandes this month it could well be the different between them being in the UEFA Champions League or not next season.

West Ham, Chelsea reportedly make bids for Gedson Fernandes

Chelsea and West Ham bid for Gedson Fernandes
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The Gedson Fernandes sweepstakes have a pair of London entrants.

The Portuguese playmaker has been linked with Manchester United, West Ham United, and a bevy of other suitors, and has reportedly drawn a concrete offers from the Irons and Chelsea.

It’s said that the Blues made a loan-to-buy offer with an eventual $72 million price tag for Fernandes, who turns 21 on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea’s offer would turn into an obligation to buy if Fernandes played in 50 percent or more of their matches. That’s a big ask for a youngster at Chelsea, given their depth.

West Ham is linked with a $43 million loan-to-buy offer, too, according to Sky Sports.

A center midfielder who can play forward, he’s also played left and right midfield.

Fernandes is out of favor at Benfica, his single-minute cameo for Bruno Lage on Jan. 4 a first league outing for since November. Lage is a former Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday assistant under Carlos Carvalhal.

Fernandes has not recorded a goal or an assist this season, but the twice-capped Portuguese international has a solid resume. He has three goals and seven assists in 59 senior appearances.

EURO 2020 draw: Group F a nightmare with Germany, France, Portugal

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Germany, France, and Portugal have been drawn into a nightmare Group F at EURO 2020, while England will meet World Cup runners-up Croatia in group play.

Groups A and B are known in full, with Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, and Wales in the former and Belgium, Russia, Denmark, and Finland in the latter.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Four spots remain in play between Groups C, D, E, and F, as 16 teams will contest the playoffs this Spring.

The winner of the playoff path C, contested by Norway, Serbia, Scotland, and Israel, will join Group F.

What do you think?

Group A
Italy
Switzerland
Turkey
Wales

Group B
Belgium
Russia
Denmark
Finland

Group C
Ukraine
Netherlands
Austria
(Playoff winner path D/A – Romania, Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia, Kosovo)

Group D
England
Croatia
Czech Republic
(Playoff winners path C – Norway, Serbia, Scotland, Israel)

Group E
Spain
Poland
Sweden
(Playoff winners path B – Ireland, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Group F
Germany
France
Portugal
(Playoff winners path A/D – Bulgaria, Finland, Iceland, Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia, Kosovo)

Cristiano Ronaldo reveals he’s playing with an injury

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Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he’s been playing with a knee injury in recent weeks.

The Juventus and Portugal star was criticized for leaving Juventus’ win against AC Milan on Nov. 10 early, as he was substituted in the second half and then left the stadium before the end of the game.

Speaking to reporters after he scored his 99th international goal for Portugal in a 2-0 win against Luxembourg which sealed their qualification for EURO 2020, Ronaldo explained that there was no drama between himself and Juve boss Maurizio Sarri.

“There was no controversy. You [the media] want controversies. You obviously know that I don’t like to be substitute, but I have been playing with some limitations. I tried to help Juventus even playing injured. Nobody likes to be substituted, but I understand the substitutions because I wasn’t fit,” Ronaldo said.

“As well as in the last two games for Portugal, I wasn’t 100 per cent. When it’s needed to sacrifice myself for my club and the national team, I do full of pride. As you know, Inter are putting some pressure on Juventus. We are two points ahead and we can’t slip up. If we draw or lose, they will go ahead of us. So I sacrificed myself for the team. Here in the national team, you know that in case we had lost one of these last two matches, we could be out [of automatic qualification]. As you know,

Ronaldo added that he has never had big injuries throughout his career and that his current problem is “a minor injury, a minor pain” which stops him from playing at 100 percent.

This is likely to be a reoccurring theme for Ronaldo, aged 34, in the coming years.

His style of play is so physically demanding and dependent on him being 100 percent fit that the stress he has put his body under over the past 15-20 years was certain to catch up with him.

Ronaldo’s less than delighted reaction at being subbed for the second game running for Juve sparked talk of unrest, but instead it was a knee issue.

His reaction didn’t help matters, but now we know the full story and that Sarri’s comments about Ronaldo carrying an injury was correct.