Fernandes seeks better Manchester United deal but wants clarity on future

Estimated read time 4 min read

Bruno Fernandes is pushing for a new contract from Manchester United that would take him into the top pay bracket with Marcus Rashford, Casemiro and Jadon Sancho, as the captain waits for clarity regarding the manager and the club’s long‑term vision before deciding whether to seek a transfer.

Although the United hierarchy, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, view Fernandes as the team’s best player and are not actively looking to sell him, the need to bring in funds and reduce the wage bill in order to invest significantly in the squad may mean any realistic offer will be countenanced.

Fernandes’s agent, Miguel Pinho, has recently been in discussions with potential suitors, with reports ­claiming Bayern Munich and Barcelona are interested. Yet serious financial challenges mean the Catalan club are not thought to be a realistic option.

Fernandes signed a new deal in April 2022 worth about £220,000 a week that runs to 2026 with the option of a further 12 months. But it is understood he feels undervalued and wishes to be in the highest band of earners.

Rashford is paid a basic ­salary of about £365,000 a week, slightly more than Casemiro, and Sancho gets about £300,000 a week. Fernandes will be 30 in September so is conscious that his next contract should be the most lucrative of his career. He is also unsure about the club’s direction. United are due to clarify the future of Erik ten Hag and if the manager is sacked Fernandes wants to know who will replace him.

Fernandes spelled out last month that the club’s ambitions needed to match his. “I love to step out at Old Trafford more than anything in the world,” he told the Players’ Tribune. “I don’t want to leave. This has always been my ultimate dream. I just want my expectations to fit with the expectations of the club. If you go talk to any fan, they will tell you the same thing. We want to compete for the league. We want to be playing Champions League football. We want to be in cup finals. That is the standard.”

The Portuguese joined in January 2020 and has won only the Carabao Cup and FA Cup. Since Sir Alex ­Ferguson retired as the manager in May 2013, United have failed to mount a ­genuine title challenge. The club’s finish of eighth last month was their ­lowest of the Premier League era, and they will compete next season in the Europa League.

United will have to invest ­heavily if they are to become the force ­Fernandes wishes. Yet profitability and sustainability rules mean that to do so in the upcoming window would require the club to sell and use the fees received and wages saved.

Alongside Fernandes, Rashford is the player of the highest potential value, with the forward contracted until 2028, and United may consider any serious offer for him.

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Sancho, who was on loan at Borussia Dortmund for the second half of the season after a fallout with Ten Hag, is contracted until 2026 and would also fetch a substantial fee.

Any other players who could leave, such as Casemiro and Harry Maguire, who earns £180,000 a week and has a year left on his deal, would do so for a lesser price. Raphaël Varane’s £340,000-a-week wages will be removed from the books when his contract expires at the end of this month.

The 19-year-olds Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, and Rasmus Højlund, who is 21, are the only players ringfenced by the club as not for sale, being viewed as the future of United. It is also highly unlikely Lisandro Martínez would be sold given his status at the club.

Source: theguardian.com

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