Bruno Fernandes considered quitting Man Utd and had frank club meeting
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Bruno Fernandes has revealed that he seriously considered his long-term future at Manchester United before signing his current deal at Old Trafford and held an honest meeting with Red Devils director John Murtough in order to relay his concerns. The Portuguese midfielder committed to United back in April by penning a contract until the summer of 2026 with an option for another year and has started in all but one of the club’s Premier League matches since the start of the season.
It could have all ended up so differently for Fernandes, though, if he had given up on United last year at the end of a troubled campaign that saw Ralf Rangnick drafted in to steady the ship after the mid-season sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The 29-year-old told The Athletic that he requested a meeting with Murtough and Darren Fletcher before signing his contract in order to establish whether or not the club actually had a plan for the future after being left concerned by the levels of instability on show at Old Trafford in recent years.
“I had a conversation last year with the club when everyone knew that Ralf was not the coach for the future,” said Fernandes. “When the club decided that I spoke to the club and I said I want to be a solution for the club, I want to be helpful for the club, but I also want to know where we are going. Is there a plan, is there a future?
“This was before I signed my new contract because I said to the club, obviously money is important, no one can hide that, it’s always important to earn more and more and more in football or life, whatever job you do, you always want to have the best for yourself. But at that time, for me I said I’m on good money, I don’t want a new contract without knowing that we have a good future in the club.
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“I want to know where we are going, I don’t need to know who the manager is, but I want to know just as a club, do you think we have a future? Do you have a plan for the future? What are your thoughts on where we can go? What does the club want? Does the club want to achieve trophies or does the club want to build something to go to the Champions League?
“Because for me, that’s not enough and the club demands more, the history of this club, the quality of the players we have, it demands more than just being here and fighting for fourth place. It demands trophies, it demands at least fighting for trophies. We don’t have to win all the trophies but we have to fight for the trophies and as a club and the quality of players, we have the quality to do that and we’ve been showing that, so I just want to know if this is the future.”
Fernandes arrived at United to considerable fanfare in 2020 and quickly established himself as one of the squad’s better players, although the promise of a regular place in the side was not enough on its own to convince him to stay and commit the prime years of his career to the Red Devils.
“The club has said they have a plan, this is what they want, we agree with you that the level of the club has to be better than it has been in the past, we can achieve much more, we can do much more and that’s why I have never had my head out of here but just making sure the club is still in the same direction that it was when I signed,” added Fernandes.
“[I spoke to] John and Darren Fletcher because they’re the people who are closer for the players to talk to. So that was the conversation I had with them, to understand that the aim for the club is still the same they said to me when I signed in 2020.”
United will be counting on Fernandes to pull the strings in Saturday’s hotly-anticipated derby against Manchester City, who gave the Red Devils a footballing lesson in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season. Erik ten Hag’s side have won each of their last eight matches in all competitions, though, and will be confident of getting a result when the two clubs renew their rivalry at Old Trafford this weekend.
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