Even more, there were reports that the player had already agreed on personal terms with the Red Devils.
And now Ferro's comments suggest it is far from certain 25-year-old Fernandes will be in United colours by the end of this month's transfer window.
In the ongoing campaign, Fernandes has been in inspirational form after managing to score 15 times along with 13 assists in just 26 appearances.
Sporting president Frederico Varandas informed both Fernandes and United that it was impossible for him to sell the best player in the Portuguese league at the price now on the table.
"We have to understand the ambition of the player who prefers to play in a league that is superior to ours".
Manchester United transfer in jeopardy?
It has always been common knowledge that Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the lookout for attack-minded midfield reinforcements, amid Jesse Lingard's struggles.
But there is understood to have been progress between the two clubs, with the loss of Marcus Rashford having accelerated United's need to get the deal done this month. Indeed, Pogba's absence has dried up goals from the midfielders as well.
I still think United are in pole position to secure a deal and while negotiations may drag until the final days of the January window, I expect an agreement will eventually be found with Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes played 90 minutes for Sporting in their 2-0 home defeat to Benfica on Friday night. However, if TVI 24 are to be believed, that is not necessarily the case, with Manchester United and Sporting reaching an impasse over the initial fee.