Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to bring in two midfielders this summer, and Fernandes is among the club’s top targets.
United chiefs are set to pursue the signing of Sean Longstaff this week, and are not expecting any complications along the way given they’re the only club looking to sign the player.
That could be different in the case of Fernandes though.
Initially, it was believed that Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham were all interested in the Portuguese international.
But now the clubs have all taken a backseat, leaving the door open for Manchester United to conclude a deal, if they wish.
According to Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth, United’s hopes of signing Fernandes have been effected by Atletico Madrid signing Joao Felix.
The wonderkid sealed a £113million switch to the Wanda Metropolitano from Benfica in midweek, making him the fifth most expensive footballer of all-time.
But the fee has left Primeira Liga rivals Sporting pondering their stance over Fernandes, who has a £31m release clause.
They are now desperate to sell their captain for as much as possible, knowing Benfica will have plenty of cash to spend for the upcoming season.
“United fans were getting really excited when we were breaking that story earlier this week that his agent was in the UK and trying to sound out possibilities of a deal,” Sheth told Sky Sports News Transfer Centre.
“There’s plenty to do on this one.
“United want to sign him but Sporting are going to play hard ball on this especially because rivals Benfica have just got £115m for Joao Felix.
“Sporting do not want to lose face and sell their prized asset for his release clause of £31m, they want at least £50m or £60m for him.”
Sporting’s president Frederico Varandas has admitted he is expecting to earn a record amount from the sale of Fernandes.
“It could be the most expensive sale of Sporting,” he told Radio Observar.
“The most expensive so far was João Mário, for €40m (£36m). There have been only talks for Bruno Fernandes, for now.
“I can only say that if a player leaves that can earn us millions, we will be prepared to attack the market.
“Always in a sustained way. I want Bruno Fernandes to stay, but everyone knows the current situation.”