Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes is reportedly “getting too big for his boots” at Old Trafford.
Fernandes has been at United for 10 months and he has looked like the leader they have been craving ever since he signed in January.
He single-handedly propelled United into a third-placed finish last season with eight goals and seven Premier League assists. The 26-year-old also failed to taste defeat in the league and was generally seen as a £47m bargain.
The final figure on the deal could eventually net Sporting over £60m, but so far he has proved he is well worth the investment.
Fast forward to this season, where he has two goals and one assist from three games and things still look rosy. Albeit his form has not quite been up to last season’s standard.
However the big problem is that United have been beaten by Crystal Palace and hammered 6-1 by Tottenham.
Stories emerged after the thumping by Spurs that Fernandes was furious with the team and the decision to sub him at half-time.
He’s admitted he had “a discussion with team-mates” during the interval at Old Trafford with United 4-1 down.
He’s since come out and cleared the air, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists there is no rift between the pair.
However, The Independent say that some United insiders think the midfielder is “getting too big for his boots”.
The Portugal international is believed to be a “vocal figure at the club” and “appears to have ruffled feathers with the way he spoke to his team-mates that day”.
Fernandes put talk of falling out with Solskjaer to bed: “There’s been a lot of speculation about that.
“First it was a discussion with team-mates, as it did not stick, it was a discussion with only one team-mate [Victor Lindelof], as it did not stick now, it is the discussion with Solskjaer.
“I believe it is a way to destabilise the group. What was said is in no way true.
“I was replaced at half-time, it is true, by technical option. The coach told me that the game was almost over and that we would have a lot of games ahead of us. Got it. I was not satisfied but said nothing that could harm the group.”
“Do not use my name, my colleagues or the coach to make trouble at Manchester United.
“The atmosphere is good and the team is ready to give an answer in the next game.”
Solskjaer has responded and understands the frustration on the part of Fernandes.
“We’ve been in touch with the ones that have been away [on international duty] and it’s one of those things that you have to get over as soon as you can and move on,” Solskjaer said.
“We know any little chance from outside that wants to create a division.
“Bruno spoke really well the other day about [how] we are united and we have to stay together. We can’t listen to everyone outside, we’ve just got to get on with it.
“Bruno has lost two league games since he came to the club and he came in February. It’s been two in quick succession.
“He’s not used to losing league games but now, Bruno, welcome to Man United. This is what happens when you lose a couple.”
Players losing faith in Ole?
Meanwhile, the same report claims the players’ faith in Solskjaer is starting to wane.
The tabloid says: “One player this week privately told a friend that ‘training is so basic’ and ‘lacking in creativity’, and said the Norwegian feels ‘insecure’.”
The feeling around the United camp is one of uncertainty with the paper claiming one connected source said Solskjaer is well liked, but questioned the respect he commands.
“They ended up loathing Jose [Mourinho], but they knew he was good,” quote the Independent.