Bengaluru, March 12: Liverpool have joined the race with Manchester United for Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes over a summer transfer, according to reports.
The highly-rated Portuguese attacking midfielder has been drawing interest for the last two years and was linked with Liverpool, earlier in the summer. But latest reports suggested following his sensational campaign this term, United have started showing strong interest in the 24-year-old.
But as per Mirror, Liverpool too joined the race for the attacker as they want to replace Adam Lallana in the summer.
Fernandes joined the Portuguese side only last year from Serie A but has been their star performer ever since. He was involved in 36 goals last term and this time certainly it's much better than the previous one.
Bruno Fernandes with another goal for @Sporting_CP today!FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) March 9, 2019
Ridiculous stats. What an incredible season he is having! He's tearing the Liga NOS apart. One of the best Portuguese players around. 💚🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/vxSsTmNx1B
The 24-year-old has already been involved in 37 goals this season in all the competitions, making 13 assists and scoring 24 goals for the capital city club, helping the troubled side to maintain the fourth place in the league as of now.
Fernandes has been indispensable to Sporting's reconstruction following the turbulence caused by the chaotic reign of former club president Bruno de Carvalho.
Nine players including Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio decided to split up their contracts and Fernandes also was among them. However, following the departure of the President, he again signed a deal with the side to maintain his commitment.
However, due to the financial restraints (as per latest reports), Sporting could finally be receptive to potential interests from the top European side to cash in on some of their stars. Fernandes is certainly their best player at the moment and the Portuguese club believes selling the player would generate an extensive amount by which they can resolve the situation.
Moreover, with Sporting's chances of securing a Champions League berth are looking bleak, the player could also look to move for a better challenge if such offers come around.
Fernandes has been used in a variety of roles across midfield and attacks this season, he has mostly operated as a no.10 or a creative central midfielder. Liverpool, who certainly lack a creative output in the middle of the pitch, could look into the Portuguese hotshot as big addition in the next season.
Fernandes, however, has a release clause somewhere in the region of £90m which is certainly a big amount but with Sporting having financial struggles, they could let him go for a lesser amount.
AC Milan and Atletico Madrid too reportedly enquired about the player's signature at the end of the season, but due to giants Liverpool and Manchester United involvement in the race, they could lose out on the player in financial terms eventually.