Finally, after nearly a month of speculation, scrutiny, and ups & downs, Manchester United has its man.
The Red Devils have completed the signing of Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes, having signed a four-and-a-half year deal with an option for another year. The deal is for a reported $61 million with another $27 million in add-ons.
“My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club,” Fernandes said in the official club release. “For me now to play for Manchester United feels incredible, I have worked hard to get to this moment and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies.”
Fernandes has played 19 times for Portugal, including two appearances in the 2018 World Cup and a permanent place in the side through Euro 2020 qualification. He scored his second international goal in his last appearances, a full 90-minute showing in the 2-0 win over Luxembourg in qualifying action.
His old club Sporting CP, whom he joined in 2017 and compiled 137 appearances for across all competitions, wished him well on social media following the completion of the transfer.
— Sporting CP_en (@SportingCP_en) January 29, 2020
Fernandes also broke down in tears during his final interview as a Sporting CP player, with a meaningful spell coming to an end and a journey across the English Channel on the horizon.
“I want to thank Sporting for everything they have done for me,” Fernandes said in the Manchester United release. “It is surreal to hear the nice words that have been said about me from players that used to play for this team.”
At Old Trafford, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira are most in danger of losing their place in the team with Fernandes’ arrival, with the Portuguese international able to play both as a box-to-box midfielder as well as a number 10. Lingard has advanced as a possessional midfielder in the last year, but still struggles at times with bad giveaways. Pereira has declined after initially showing promise in his early appearances with the club. Scott McTominay is injured and out of action until late February, but given his meteoric rise and positive performances before suffering a knee injury, he is likely to reclaim his place in the starting lineup upon his return.
Manchester City winger Bernardo Silva offered congratulations to his international teammate, telling Portuguese publication A Bola, “I’m very happy for him. It’s a big step for his career, which he deserves. He’s going to play for one of the best clubs in the world. We’re going to be rivals but I wish him the best, apart from against us, obviously. I’m pleased he’ll be in Manchester and I hope we can go out to dinner from time to time. Changing country is always difficult, but it’s not Bruno’s first experience abroad and with the quality he has he’ll adapt well.”