Manchester United ‘absolutely’ want Bruno Fernandes to stay, claims Ten Hag

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Erik ten Hag claimed after Manchester United’s 3-2 victory against Newcastle that Bruno Fernandes “absolutely” wants to stay, after the captain hinted at being unsure of the club’s desire to keep him, while Eddie Howe felt his side were denied a “stonewall penalty”.

In an on-pitch interview after the win, Fernandes said: “I will be here until – the club needs to want me. I feel that the club wants me to be part of the future. As I always said, I don’t want to be a player the club doesn’t want to have. If for some reason the club doesn’t want me, I will go.”

Ten Hag was asked about the comments. “No, absolutely the club wants to keep Bruno,” he said. The manager was pressed on why Fernandes seems to feel United are ambivalent about their desire to keep him. “I have to see the interview, maybe [it’s] your interpretation, but everything I know from him he loves Manchester United, the fans of Manchester United and to play for Manchester United. He gives always his best and is an example, even with [his] injuries,” he said.

“Bruno loves football and wants to win. That is how I would describe his character. I am very pleased with his performances. It is not easy when so many players are injured around him and he has to carry the team. He keeps in a good level and even a high level, especially in the spring, when he grew to a brilliant level.”

The home team scored through Kobbie Mainoo, Amad Diallo and ­Rasmus Højlund, the visitors answering via Anthony Gordon’s equaliser and Lewis Hall in added time. At 1-0 in the 35th minute Gordon went down in the area after Sofyan Amrabat slid a boot down his ankle. Robert Jones did not award a penalty and the video assistant ­referee did not refer him to the screen.

Howe said: “I was surprised because I was watching it back and trying to see why Anthony went down – it is a stonewall penalty.” The incident came on the day Wolves moved to have a vote by all Premier League clubs to scrap VAR. Howe said: “I am the same as I always have been – I like the power being with the referee.”

Gordon said: “I knew straight away [it was a penalty], that is why I didn’t appeal. I waited for the VAR to check. I told my teammates it was a clear penalty. I don’t understand the point of it [VAR], either get rid of it or get better – it’s that simple.”

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Before the game Marcus Rashford was involved in a verbal confrontation with one or more persons in the crowd in the corner of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand by the tunnel. After walking towards the area and exchanging words, he walked back, Antony and Christian Eriksen then calming him.


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