Erik ten Hag wants to keep Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag is keen to

A Football Report
Erik ten Hag wants to keep Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag is keen to keep Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford The Portuguese midfielder has been speaking on his future following another underwhelming season for the Red Devils.

The club are eager to keep the Portuguese international, whom they acquired in January 2020 from Sporting Clube de Portugal. Despite being one of the club's few successful transfers, Fernandes is ready to depart if United no longer require his services.

The 29-year-old currently has a deal with United until 2026, which is claimed to be worth £230,000 per week. However, in recent years, he has seen teammates such as Marcus Rashford, Casemiro and Raphael Varane sign contracts worth more than his own.

The Portugal international’s future has been the subject of speculation in recent days, with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan among the clubs linked with the influential midfielder. In addition, teams from Saudi's Pro League have shown interest in the midfielder, who has netted 79 goals since his move to Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes talks tough

Fernandes, who returned from a two-match lay-off in last Wednesday’s encounter against Newcastle, told Sky Sports: “I will be here until… I said the club needs to want me.

The Portugal international, who played a prominent role in the Red Devils’ 3-2 victory over Newcastle before the Premier League final day, said he was keen to remain in Manchester.

“I feel that the club wants me to be a part of the future, so, as I said always, I don’t want to be a player that the club doesn’t want to have.

“If for some reason they don’t want to have me, I will go, but if they want me I will stay.”

The Portugal international has again been in impressive form for the Red Devils during the 2023-24 campaign, scoring 15 goals and registering 12 assists in 47 appearances in all competitions.

Since Fernandes made the move to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, he has featured for the club on 231 occasions in all competitions, scoring 79 goals and registering 65 assists - a consistent performer since that move.

Ten Hag expresses a desire to keep Fernandes

Also at his post-match press conference after that important win, manager Ten Hag said: “No, absolutely the club wants to keep Bruno. There’s no question, I think.

“I have to see the interview but, as far as I know, he loves Manchester United. He loves the fans of Manchester United and he loves to play for Manchester United. That is all I know.

“He always gives his best. He’s an example, even with injuries he’s playing. He loves football, but he wants to win.

“I’m very pleased with his performances across the season because for him, it’s not easy when so many players are injured around him and every time, he has to carry the team.”

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney, the club’s all-time leading scorer who was working as a TV pundit during the game, emphasized the importance of Fernandes remaining with the team but was less enthusiastic about other squad members.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Rooney said: "You have to build the team around Bruno [Fernandes], he is the one player with quality and he has fight in him. [I'd keep] the young players. And then all the other players, get rid of them.

"It has to be a massive clearout. It won't be in one year, but it's going to be in the next couple of years."

It has been a frustrating season for Ten Hag’s side, who finished eighth and will need to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final to claim a place in the Europa League next season.

Ten Hag, who thanked fans for their support after the game and promised to “give everything” to win the cup, said: “I don’t talk about pride – we are all disappointed with the season – but still, we can win something and we have to go for this.”

Massive clearout could hit Manchester United

Following the takeover by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a lot of fans and football observers expect a revolution in terms of playing personnel at the club. In a seismic shake-up at Manchester United, a staggering 12 first-team players could depart Old Trafford according to transfer reports.

The Red Devils will not play in the Champions League next season and are on the verge of missing out on Europe altogether. This could impact the purchase of Manchester United tickets all over the world. However, they have a chance against Manchester City in the FA Cup Final - a match that could decide a lot of futures at the Manchester Club.

Meanwhile, contracts for Tom Heaton, Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane and Johnny Evans are some of the names confirmed to leave the club. The club also plans to capitalize on the return of players like Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho from their loan spells, marking a significant shift in the team’s strategy.

Omar Berrada has come in as the new CEO, alongside Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox, to welcome a fresh strategic vision. Furthermore, the departure of football director John Murtough and the rumoured exit of manager Erik ten Hag at the end of the season signifies a significant transformation at the club's core.

Underwhelming season for Manchester United

United recorded their fewest points in a Premier League season (58) in 2021/22, the campaign in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and replaced by Ralf Rangnick.

That season was particularly dismal, with Brighton's 4-0 thrashing of United at the Amex Stadium in May 2022 marking a significant low point. Two years later, United faced Brighton again in May, once more under similarly dispiriting conditions.

Before kick-off on the final day of the 2023/24 campaign, United had 57 points. A 15th league defeat would have left them with fewer points than they had in the 2021/2022 season.

Despite a 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex on the final day of the Premier League season, Manchester United were unable to secure a spot in European football via the league for next season.

United, facing their worst league finish since the league's inception in 1992, must now defeat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final at Wembley next weekend to secure a spot in Europe next season.