Bruno Fernandes admits he had his heart set on a move to the Premier League after Manchester United finally agreed a deal with Sporting.
United were in danger of missing out on signing the 25-year-old before the end of the January transfer window as they had refused to meet Sporting’s asking price.
But United stepped up negotiations on Tuesday after learning about Barcelona’s late interest and offered €55 million (£46.5m) up front plus €10m (£8.4m) in bonuses that are considered achievable by Sporting and a further €15m (£12.7m) in payments which are less likely to come to fruition.
Fernandes is expected to arrive in England today in order to finalise his move to Old Trafford.
On Tuesday evening, Fernandes’ close friend, Carolina Deslandes, posted a picture of them together on her Instagram account with an airplane emoji, suggesting that the midfielder is already en route to England.
The Portugal international was also stopped outside his house by Portuguese television station SIC as he made his way to his car with Deslandes.
Asked if the Premier League was his preference, Bruno replied: ‘It always was.’ But when asked specifically about Manchester United, Bruno said: ‘Anything really.’