The Portuguese club have already rebuffed approaches from Old Trafford for the 24-year-old, now considered one of the most exciting attacking midfielders in Europe.
The feeling from United is still that they can prise Fernandes away, although they will likely have to bid well over £50m to get it done.
It is understood the move is not dependent on Paul Pogba leaving Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager to greatly enhance his midfield regardless. As reported by The Independent, there is a confidence the deal will eventually get done.
Ahead of Sporting’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool in the US, Fernandes gave little away when asked whether he would be moving to Manchester, saying instead that he wouldn’t be making the final decision.
“The president decides that, not me,” Fernandes told A BOLA.
“I don’t care about the market, I’ve talked about this many times. The only thing I can do now is that I need to catch the plane so I don’t miss it.
“Will this be the last match for Sporting? I don’t know, it’s the coach who decides.
“I told I’d like to play in England, but I don’t care about it right now.
“If it could be this season? It could be when the club decides, I’m not in charge.”
Sporting president Frederico Varandas also confirmed that United will have to make a bid in excess of £56m to have any chance of signing Fernandes.
Varandas told RTP: “I don’t know if there are many or if there are few [interested clubs].
“What I know, a lot has been spoken of values, coming to the press, €55m, €62m – for that he doesn’t leave, for sure.
“If Bruno Fernandes leaves, players with quality will come. But if Bruno leaves.”
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