Man United Opinion: Red Devils should look to get one over City by winning the race for Bruno Fernandes
According to the Metro, Man United are currently leading the race to sign Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, with bitter rivals and Premier League champions Man City also very much in the mix to lure the 24-year-old to English football this summer.
Metro understands that the Red Devils are looking to outbid City in the transfer tug of war and Ole Gunnar Solskjar’s side have come up with a €70 million bid in response to the €55 million offered by the Citizens.
Fernandes’ has a release clause of €100 million in his contract at Sporting Lisbon but neither of the clubs are keen to match that valuation. However, with the Portuguese outfit facing a financial crisis, the 24-year-old is likely to be sold this summer to balance the books, the Metro understands.
The same source claims that Man United have firmed up their interest in the Portuguese international star and are determined to seal the deal within the next seven days, which would set the ball rolling in the summer transfer window for the Red Devils.
Fernandes’ name has popped up in the headlines multiple times over the course of the season, thanks to his red-hot form in the Portuguese top-flight and Sporting’s turbulent financial situation.
There hasn’t been any official confirmation about his future just yet and his next destination is going to be decided over the course of the next couple of months.
It is not difficult to understand why both the Manchester giants are going hammer and tongs at one another in their pursuit of Bruno Fernandes.
Man City managed to beat Liverpool to the Premier League title this season but Pep Guardiola is very much aware that he needs to bring in fresh faces in the midfield to replace ageing stars like David Silva and Fernandinho.
The Citizens can afford to rely on someone like Phil Foden a little bit more next season but one can get the feeling that they need to bring in some established top-quality professionals to continue their dominance.
United, on the other hand, are in dire need of bringing in reinforcements in central midfield this summer following the departure of Ander Herrera on a free transfer.
The Red Devils lost Marouane Fellaini back in the January window and now the departure of another seasoned campaigner like Herrera is bound to set the cat amongst the pigeons in the United camp.
United’s pursuit of a new midfielder is likely to have a lot to do with the disappointing displays of Fred, who came in with a lot of promise from Shakhtar Donetsk last summer but struggled to get to grips with English football this past season. Nemanja Matic is also past his prime while Scott McTominay, though an exciting prospect, still needs time to work on his game.
There are still plenty of question marks over Paul Pogba’s future at Old Trafford and it remains to be seen whether the Red Devils manage to keep hold of their prized asset in the summer window. However, they would be better off looking at other options even if he stays given that the Frenchman was way too inconsistent to rely upon last season.
To put things into perspective, United are crying out for a new versatile midfielder and winning the race for Bruno Fernandes is likely to solve a lot of problems for the Red Devils.
Fernandes has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the most balanced and versatile central midfielders in Europe and his arrival could go a long way towards improving United’s rather pedestrian-looking and lacklustre midfield.
Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Fernandes has been used to good effect in an attacking role through the centre and on either flank, as well as in a box-to-box role, owing to his high levels of stamina, impressive range of passing, drive, determination and tenacity.
Not only does he hold things together in the middle of the park with his uncompromised work-rate and accurate passing, but he also boasts of incredible vision and has a wonderful eye for key passes in the final third.
The 24-year-old is one of the most complete midfielders in the game and is virtually capable of playing any role in the midfield and final third. His remarkable speed of thought combined with his work ethics and high levels of footballing intelligence make him stand head and shoulders above most of the midfielders in the same mould.
He always seems to have that split second more while trying to pick out a pass, and overall, a very smart footballer.
Moreover, Fernandes would be a perfect fit for Solskjaer’s attacking and free-flowing philosophy, which includes slick, easy-on-the-eye, one-touch football. The Portuguese international moves the ball around quickly and responds to the transitions in play really well, which is something that United need to consider.
All in all, it should be an absolute no-brainer for the Red Devils to sign Bruno Fernandes and beating their bitter rivals in the transfer tug of war is likely to hand them a major boost ahead of the upcoming season.
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The 24-year-old produced a staggering 32 goals and 18 assists in all competitions this term, and United could become title contenders even if he manages to deliver half of those numbers next season.
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