• Man United short of Fernandes valuation as Mendes confirms he will leave

    Manchester United target Bruno Fernandes will not still be at Sporting Lisbon after the summer and Paul Pogba may decide to leave Old Trafford, according to the players’ agents.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side missed out on highly rated striker Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund, but work continues for January reinforcements in attack and midfield.

    The United boss has wanted a new central midfielder since the summer and Portugal international Fernandes is in their crosshairs this month, although the PA news agency understands there remains a big difference in valuation to that of Sporting.

    PA understands the 25-year-old wants to leave the Lisbon side, who do not have another match until next Wednesday after being knocked out of the Taca da Liga by Braga on Tuesday.

    Jorge Mendes, who is helping to broker the midfielder’s exit, confirmed that Fernandes will leave Sporting this summer, if not this month.

    ‘If he [Fernandes] will not leave now he will leave for sure in the summer because Sporting, they have spoken already with other clubs and something will happen,’ Mendes told Sky Sports News.

    ‘I’m not sure if [it will happen] now or the end of the season.’

    Meanwhile, speculation over Pogba’s future at United rumbles on, with his agent Mino Raiola refusing to rule out a summer move for the France midfielder.

    Pogba, who returned to United from Juventus in 2016, has fuelled talk about his future by admitting his openness to a new challenge in the summer.

    Raiola said: ‘I expect my players to be happy and I expect the clubs to be happy. That is my work. I do not want to work in front of what might be happening in the summer.

    ‘For now he [Pogba] needs to be getting fit and then it is my job to get both parties, if possible, happy. If one of those parties is not happy then there are other ways to resolve that.

    ‘But that is not today the way to talk or to speculate. I don’t say anything for sure. There’s only one thing for sure in life and that is that one day you die.

    ‘A lot of people did not think he would have gone back to Manchester United, people tend to forget that, people tend to imagine that Manchester United was the only club he could have signed for.

    ‘That was not the case. He chose Manchester United. Maybe [Sir Alex] Ferguson did not like that but he chose Manchester United.’

    Raiola was quoted last month suggesting that he would stop bringing his players to Old Trafford amid more speculation over Pogba’s future.

    The 52-year-old has now questioned United’s ‘project’ and whether Pogba still wants to be part of the club’s plans after the summer.

    ‘The quotes were a little bit strong but I think what I meant is that Manchester United needs to get their project right, otherwise there is no sense. I said what I said,’ Raiola added.

    ‘Everybody knows the ambition from both parts has not been met the last few years. Let’s be honest, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

    ‘So we need to see in the summer if Paul is still in the plans of Manchester United and if Manchester United is still in the plans of Paul.’

    On his relationship with the club, Raiola said: ‘I think it is good, it is a professional, honest relationship. I have never spoken to Ole, I hear he is a fantastic person and fantastic man.’

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