Reportedly, Bruno Fernandes is attracting fierce interest from La Liga giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona to an extent the two sides are ready to lock horns in a battle to get the Portuguese out of Old Trafford.
The Spanish giants are closely monitoring Fernandes’ situation despite having spent eight months at Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes proved to be a crucial influence behind United clinching a Champions League place on last season’s final day. He was a regular performer in the team’s progression to the Europa League semi-finals as well.
The 26-year-old has netted 14 goals in total across all competitions since the big-money switch. Undoubtedly, he is one of the more vocal players in the club’s dressing room.
In the home match against Tottenham, United trailed Spurs 4-1 at the interval before the international break. It was claimed that Fernandes had exploded into a venomous rant at his team-mates and the under-fire Solskjaer.
The reported verbal volley is even believed to have centered around the coach’s choice of tactics which ended up being swapped for Fred.
When asked why he had subbed the players, Solskjaer replied, “there are many reasons behind subs in a game. If I explain every time, I take a player off, I don’t think that’s the right thing. I explained to Bruno and he accepted it. No problem”.
Real Madrid and Barcelona “fight” for Fernandes
It’s difficult to see how either Real Madrid or Barcelona could afford the player at the moment where COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on finances.
Barcelona announced earlier this month that they had made an after-tax loss of £88m due to the pandemic. They highlighted the impact of playing behind closed doors as well as the total cancellation of the basketball Euro league for loss of revenue.
Meanwhile, Madrid has asked their players to take a 10 percent pay cut and so it is unlikely they would be able or willing to spend big in near future.
However, their interest in Fernandes could be a long-term play, with both clubs having a history of using the Spanish press to soften up targets.
Fernandes cost £68m from Sporting Lisbon, and so good has his form been since joining that his value could well now be around the £100m mark, another prohibitive factor for Real and Barca.
Solskjaer faces an uphill struggle to reverse his team’s fortunes – with even their sole league win of the season coming thanks to the controversial 11th-hour penalty at Brighton.
The defeats against Crystal Palace and Spurs have piled on the pressure ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.