Manchester City close in on £47m Sporting midfielder Bruno Fernandes

• City to offer players in deal to reduce £86m buyout clause
• Manchester United also inquired about Fernandes

Manchester City are set to beat Manchester United to the signature of Bruno Fernandes. Pep Guardiola has been monitoring the Sporting and Portugal midfielder and City have made a €55m (£47.2m) bid for the 24-year-old, who United inquired about last month.

City have jumped ahead of their rivals in the queue and expect to conclude the deal in the next few weeks. Fernandes, an attacking midfielder who prefers to play centrally, has 19 goals and 13 assists in 31 league games this season.

City’s sporting director, Txiki Begiristain, has been in discussions with his Sporting counterpart, Hugo Viana, and they have edged towards an agreement. Fernandes has a buyout clause of €100m (£86m) but City are confident they can secure a deal for considerably less with the help of one or two players going in the opposite direction.

Fernandes, who has 11 caps, joined Novara in Italy from Boavista at the age of 17 without having played a first-team game in Portugal. He played for Udinese and Sampdoria before signing for Sporting for €8.5m in 2017.