A remarkable report has explained why Man Utd are at risk of losing Bruno Fernandes this summer, with three heavyweight suitors named.
The Portuguese attacker, 27, became an instant fan favourite for his early heroics in a Manchester United shirt. Fernandes hit the ground running upon moving to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in January, 2020. That translated into a whirlwind first 18 months with Fernandes cementing himself as one of the league’s most potent attackers.
Fernandes has endured tougher times in the current campaign with the team in general losing their way. Nevertheless, his nine goals and 14 assists across all competitions show he has still been effective.
However, a sensational report from Caught Offside (citing a Spanish source), claim this season could be Fernandes’ last in United colours.
That surprise declaration stems from it reportedly being ‘essential’ that United qualify for the Champions League.
The wording of the original Spanish report does not make it clear whether there is anything written into Fernandes’ contract about Champions League qualification. However, they do suggest he could push for a move if United miss out on fourth spot.
Bruno Fernandes attracting heavyweight suitors – report
Citing the report, Caught Offside sum up the situation as Fernandes’ future ‘resting’ on finishing inside the top four.
Fernandes’ current contract does not expire until 2025. The club also hold an option for a further 12 months.
However, United will embark on the early phases of a new chapter under a different permanent manager next season. It’s hinted that at 27 and in his prime, Fernandes wants to be competing for top honours right now rather than be a part of a long-term project.
Eric Ten Hag learning English preparing for Manchester United job
Ajax manager Eric Ten Hag is learning English as his interest in the Manchester United job grows
The report adds that if Bruno Fernandes were to push for a move, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Man City would be in the mix.
A cross-city switch to the Etihad would be unthinkable for the Red Devils. Indeed, Caught Offside pour cold water on any chances of that scenario unfolding.
Whether the original Spanish source can be believed is clearly open to debate. Regardless, a player of Fernandes’ talent and ambition is unlikely to be happy with Europa League football.
Man Utd moving for Moussa Dembele?
Meanwhile, Man Utd have made ‘initial enquiries’ towards forging a deal to sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele. But a report has attached a head-scratching caveat.
The summer window is shaping up to be a vital one at Old Trafford. The forward ranks could see the most action with Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all out of contract. There is also uncertainty surrounding the long-term futures of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Cristiano Ronaldo.
As such, United may be forced into multiple additions in the final third, and the Manchester Evening News state Moussa Dembele is among those on the club’s radar.
The 25-year-old’s contract expires in 2023 and the Daily Mail recently reported a Man Utd move could be made for £25m this summer. The MEN take it a step further when stating ‘initial enquiries’ have now been made by the Red Devils.
However, the report adds Dembele would likely ‘only be viewed as a squad player’ if he joined.
While having excellent strength in depth is important, a club with the financial muscle of Man Utd tend to target players who would improve on their current options, not back them up.
If signed, Dembele would count as a homegrown player on United’s quota having come through the ranks at Fulham. He would add another option up front. Though whether he is the level of signing United require to challenge the likes of Man City and Liverpool, only time would tell.