Bruno Fernandes in ‘daily contact’ with Man Utd target; holds key to move

Bruno Fernandes; Raphinha TEAMtalk

Bruno Fernandes could hold the key to Manchester United’s hopes of signing Leeds winger Raphinha, with the Red Devils playmaker still reportedly in ‘daily contact’ with his former Sporting team-mate.

The pair built up a strong friendship during their time together in Lisbon, with their bond still in place as United and Liverpool eye a move for the attacker this summer.

The Brazilian moved to Elland Road from Stade Rennes last summer for what now looks a bargain £17million.

He had spent just one year in France following his departure from Sporting, where he played alongside Fernandes.

Raphinha has fitted in perfectly to Marcelo Bielsa’s attacking brand of football, after an initial spell in the club’s Under-23s side.

He has notched five goals and added five more assists in the Premier League this season.

His superb form has seen both United and Liverpool stand up and take notice, with summer bids on the cards.

But Brazilian outlet UOL, as cited by the Daily Express, claims that Fernandes’ relationship with Raphinha could prove key to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hopes of landing the 24-year-old.

It’s claimed the pair speak on a daily basis and that the Red Devils have launched an enquiry for the player.

Fernandes has previously put on record his admiration for his former colleague.

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“Raphinha, I miss Raphinha,” Fernandes told Top Mercato in December 2019. “He’s a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others. He understood me at a glance.

“He knew, according to the movement of my body, where I was going to put the ball to him.

“I also miss him because he brought joy to the locker room. He’s also a responsible and hardworking person.”

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Orta dismisses Raphinha exit talk

Leeds’ Director of Football Victor Orta has since dismissed speculation regarding Raphinha, labelling the reports as “clickbait”.

“To be clear, we have not had any approach for Raphinha and we would not welcome one,” he told BBC West Yorkshire.

Raphinha Leeds United

“It’s only for clickbait and to create business for the websites.

“We are really happy and we believe he’s a player that’s a substantial part of the project, and more now when there’s still a lot of things to do.”

Clickbait or not, it would appear that there is genuine interest in the player – with Leeds facing a fight to keep him this summer.

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