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Manchester United - Football: Let's talk about Bruno

With Bruno Fernandes on course to sign a new contract at Man Utd, the expected announcement is somewhat out of the blue given the huge to-do list at the club.

Original article published 25 March 2022

It is claimed that talks between Fernandes and the club are progressing well and that an agreement on a new contract, said to be worth £240,000 a week, is close between the two parties.

Financial benefit will appease Fernandes

While there is no denying the impact the Portugal international has had since arriving at Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, his form has dipped this season and it just seems slightly strange timing for a new deal to be announced.

Fernandes initially joined the 20-time English champions on a five-and-a-half year contract with the option of a further 12 months, so it's not as if the club are pressed for time to get the midfielder tied down for longer.

This potential announcement could have something to do with United's search for a new manager, as Ralf Rangnick is only in charge until the end of the campaign, and that individual who gets the job may see the Portuguese as a crucial member of the first team.

Handing the 27-year-old a financial reward may just be what is required to keep him happy at the Theatre of Dreams and stop any potential thoughts of an exit, something which is on the mind of several players due to the struggles this term.

More pressing matters

It still seems a strange announcement, at this stage of the season, given the fact there are several other jobs on the to-do list that should be receiving greater attention.

One of those is sorting out the future of Paul Pogba, who looks likely to leave in the summer but could potentially be persuaded to stay by the right person.

Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata are also being tipped to depart in the upcoming transfer window, which will free up some of the wage bill but leave big holes to fill.

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Decisions on out-of-favour players

There is also the question of what will happen to Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek, who are on loan at Sevilla and Everton respectively until the end of the season.

Will the duo be given a chance by the new manager? Or will they be heading for the permanent exit door?

The goalkeeping situation is another issue that is yet to be resolved. David de Gea has regained the number one shirt, but does that mean Dean Henderson will be leaving or will he be kept as a number two, albeit against his will?

Huge rebuilding job

Looking deeper into the squad, there is also the chance the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic could be heading for the exit, while the future of Marcus Rashford hasn't even been mentioned yet.

The England international has suffered a big drop in form during 2021/22 and there are doubts as to whether he will be seen as an integral first-team member by the new manager.

Again, there just seems to be so many questions about the future of several first-team players and the expected Fernandes announcement appears to be coming at the wrong time.

While it will be a boost to the Portuguese, fans will be more concerned about other areas of the squad and it arguably shows the club's priorities are not where they should be right now.

United return to Premier League action on 2nd April when they host Leicester and the Red Devils are 8/15 to pick up the win on home soil, while the draw is priced at 10/3 and the Foxes are 9/2 to triumph.

The Red Devils are in a real battle to finish in the top four this term, which they are 9/2 to achieve, and a lack of Champions League football next season will hurt the club in the transfer window, in both keeping certain players and attracting talent.

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