Cape Town - Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes played against Maritimo on Monday evening as Manchester United appear to be no closer to signing the midfielder.
Fernandes has been the subject of the longest-running transfer saga of the January window with United steadfastly refusing to meet the player's asking price after Sporting suddenly demanded almost 50% more than they did last summer.
The 25-year-old has played every game for the Lisbon club during the negotiations and the midfielder lead Sporting out at Estadio Jose Alvalade once more on Monday evening in a 1-0 victory over Maritimo.
It seemed that any deal was deadlocked last week when reports emerged that stated the two clubs were as much as £10 million apart in their valuation of Fernandes.
The Times has now reported that United have increased their bid for the midfielder to an initial £46.4 million but Sporting still expect a better offer from another club for the Portugal international.
Sporting president Frederico Varandas and 'super-agent' Jorge Mendes flew to Manchester on Thursday but left without brokering a deal with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
Negotiations are expected to continue this week as the clock ticks down to Friday's transfer deadline.
The Athletic's David Ornstein claims there is a real possibility that United, who are without three key players through injury and are still a striker light after Romelu Lukaku's sale, might not make any signings this month.
Portuguese newspaper Record, however, believes United are planning to boost their offer to £46 million with up to £16 million to be paid if certain performance targets are met.
Meanwhile, United are back in action on Wednesday as they travel to Etihad Stadium to take on arch-rivals Manchester City in their Carabao Cup second-leg clash.
Kick-off is at 21:45 (SA time)
- TeamTalk Media