football

Bruno Fernandes: What does the future hold for Man Utd captain ahead of summer transfer window?

Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports he will leave Man Utd "if the club doesn't want to have me" amid speculation over his future.

After Man Utd's 3-2 win against Newcastle on Wednesday, Fernandes gave a somewhat cryptic update on his future to Sky Sports.

The Portugal international has two years remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, but has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Saudi Arabia in the summer.

Fernandes told Sky Sports, "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."

Erik ten Hag was then seen dragging Fernandes away from the interview.

At his post-match press conference, the Man Utd boss added: "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 always gives his best. He's an example - even with injuries, he's playing. He loves football, but he wants to win."

Sky Sports News' senior reporter Melissa Reddy:

"There was never a point where Manchester United questioned Bruno Fernandes' commitment or had doubts over his desire to stay because he is fiercely devoted to helping the club get back to the top.

"The captain had communicated that to INEOS in March, when they met with him to outline their plans for returning United to a domestic and European powerhouse, first by improving their organisational structure.

"There seemed to be an alignment between the club and its skipper - until recent reports had suggested United would be flexible and listen to offers this summer for every player bar the young talent they could build around.

"Bruno and his representatives were thus left questioning United's commitment to him and scheduled a talk with the club's hierarchy.

"He was reassured of his importance by Sir Dave Brailsford and Jason Wilcox.

"United's financial position, which puts them in the sell-to-buy bracket, means that if huge offers arrive for much of the squad, they would have to consider it.

"It is why Bruno again reiterated to Sky Sports on Wednesday night: 'If for some reason they don't want to have me I will go but if they want me, I will stay.'

"United do not want him to exit, and also understand the cost of replacing a player - who per Erik ten Hag's own words, 'carries the team' - is likely to outweigh what could be received for him."

Former Man Utd captain Wayne Rooney has urged the club to build a team around Fernandes - but says most of the remaining players should be sold.

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

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

There has also been praise from other Sky Sports pundits for Fernandes in recent months.

After a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth in April - in which Fernandes scored both Man Utd goals - Jamie Redknapp said: "Fernandes has got a lot of stick from people and some of it I get. But I also think it's unfair.

"I see a player that genuinely cares. Sometimes, there is pettiness and calling out his players, but he is the sort of player you'd be looking to build the team around. He's a player, he makes things happen.

"Where the frustration comes from is that people don't care as much as he does. It's like an epidemic at the club. Do people care? Do they do enough? Do they go flying into tackles?

"Fernandes does and sometimes gets himself into situations he shouldn't. But he cares about the club, the team, he's got his team back into the game today."

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