Manchester United Transfer Talk: Fernandes, Bellingham, Haaland

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We have just nine days left in the January transfer window and Manchester United are yet to sign a single new player. Is it any wonder club legend and strongly opinionated pundit Gary Neville slammed the club’s transfer policy so badly?

Who will be the first player signed this window? Well, everyone thought it was going to be Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who was potentially set to move to United in the summer, but for whatever reason, MUFC just didn’t make it happen. Here we are in the winter window, and again, people thought the Fernandes move was actually going to come to fruition. Now, the deal is very much in doubt.

His agent, Jorge Mendes, said there are no guarantees a deal will get done, as he told the Association of Football Agents (AFA) event in the Hive London: “I don’t know. If he doesn’t leave now, he will leave for sure in the summer because Sporting have already spoken with other clubs.”

“Something will happen but I am not sure if now or at the end of the season.” (h/t to Goal on the quotes)

Reportedly, the two sides are about £8 million/$10m apart in transfer fee negotiations.

Elsewhere, ESPN reports a new MUFC transfer target, who is a lot younger and less expensive in Jude Bellingham.

“United believe a bid of around £25 million plus another £5m in add-ons could be enough to prise the 16-year-old away from St Andrews,” writes ESPN FC.

Finally, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended his club’s position not to sign Erling Haaland, despite the opportunity presenting itself. MUFC refused to give in to the demands of Mino Raiola, the young player’s agent,  and he went to Borussia Dortmund instead.

Haaland netted a hat trick in his BVB debut meanwhile United are struggling in the final third, with leading scorer Marcus Rashford out for the next 2-3 months.

“It is important that we use common sense,” OGS told his news conference yesterday.

“There are other things too when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff.

“That has been touted around, that is for me, we have to be in control.”

Manchester United vs Burnley FC FYIs

January 22, 8:15 pm, Old Trafford

Team news for both sides: go to this link

United Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Key stats/facts: this will be the 130th competitive fixture between the two clubs, with United claiming 62 victories in comparison to 44 for Burnley. It’s been very competitive, evenly-matched series.

TV: BT Sport 1

Form Guide: Burnley WLLLL   Manchester United LWLWW

Probabilities via Google: Burnley win 11%,  Draw 21%,  United win 68%

Prediction: United 2, Burnley 1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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