Bruno Fernandes arrived at The Lowry Hotel on Wednesday night as he prepared to complete his £67.8million move to Manchester United.
Fernandes jumped on a flight to Manchester as soon as United and Sporting Lisbon had put the final touches to the transfer that will cost the Premier League club an initial £46.6m plus up to £21.2m in add-ons.
The 25-year-old midfielder will undergo a medical on Thursday and could be available to make his debut against Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday before United take a 16-day winter break that includes a warm-weather training camp in Marbella.
The club officially confirmed on Wednesday that terms had been agreed with Sporting, who once sold Cristiano Ronaldo to United for £12.24m, and manager Ole Gunnar welcomed news that the protracted transfer was close to completion.
Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.
The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.
A further announcement will be made in due course. pic.twitter.com/6bDVHszxL1
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 29, 2020
‘I’m delighted we’ve agreed,’ said Solskjaer.
‘There have been good negotiations with Sporting and we know, through history, these two clubs have been good with each other.
‘Now we’ve reached that agreement, hopefully we can get the boy’s contract over the line and the medical done and then, hopefully we can announce it that we’ve got the deal through and – it’s very exciting.’
A statement released by United on Wednesday afternoon read: ‘Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.
‘The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.’
United striker Marcus Rashford replied to the club’s announcement statement on Twitter by saying: ‘Welcome Bruno.’
The player’s agent Miguel Ruben Pinho posted a photo of them on the plane before they flew from Lisbon, and Fernandes then shared a picture of himself arriving in Manchester with his partner Ana Pinho and their daughter Matilde.
Sporting also took to social media to wish Fernandes – who cost £7.2m from Sampdoria in 2017 – good luck, tweeting: ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Good luck and thank you, captain.’
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them".
Obrigado Capitão. Para sempre Leão 🦁 pic.twitter.com/L7JqXs6RbT
— Sporting Clube de Portugal (@Sporting_CP) January 29, 2020
It’s understood that the add-ons include a £4.2m payment to Sporting if United qualify for the Champions League, another £4.2m based on Fernandes’s appearances for the club and a separate £12.6m if individual targets are met.
Assuming Fernandes passes his medical, he could feature in United’s home Premier League fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening.