According to sources, Bruno Fernandes only has eyes for Manchester United going into the new campaign. The Portuguese player is poised to reach a new career high thanks to Erik ten Hag’s vacant captaincy. Offers from the Saudi Pro League and the potential to team up with fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo have so far failed to sway his opinion.
Ever since joining United from Sporting Lisbon in 2020, Fernandes has been among the team’s most reliable players. It’s unlikely that his status in Ten Hag’s starting XI will be challenged anytime soon given his impressive total of 64 goals in 185 games while playing in the middle of the field.
In fact, the 28-year-old’s standing at Old Trafford could go up a notch after Harry Maguire revealed over the weekend that he had been stripped of the captaincy following talks with the boss.
Having fulfilled the role of stand-in skipper for much of last season while Maguire collected dust on the bench, Fernandes is the red-hot favourite to assume the role on a permanent basis.
Doing so would see him accomplish a feat that even five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo never managed across two separate stints at Old Trafford. The Al-Nassr forward made well over 350 appearances for the Red Devils, and at no point was he named the permanent captain.
Bruno Fernandes will almost be the captain of Man United – Something Ronaldo does not have despite playing for Man United 350 games
The armband was worn by Roy Keane and Gary Neville during Ronaldo’s first stint at United, but Harry Maguire continued to serve as captain during his brief second stint, which apparently caused conflict in the locker room.
According to trade specialist Fabrizio Romano, Fernandes’ focus on the goal has helped him turn off two approaches from the Saudi Pro League this summer.
According to reports, the ideas arrived at Old Trafford a month ago, and Ten Hag didn’t waste any time in notifying potential candidates that they had no chance of hiring his skipper in waiting. However, Fernandes taking over as captain is not yet a done deal.
Harry Maguire has been stripped of the Man Utd captaincy after three-and-a-half years
Marcus Rashford has the advantage of red-hot form and a boyhood connection to the club, which he has just committed his future to with a bumper new contract on the verge of being finalised.
Casemiro, meanwhile, has a gleaming silverware cabinet and a ruthless mentality on the pitch, with sections of the fanbase sure to be in favour of the Brazilian getting the armband ahead of Fernandes, even though it would require a bold U-turn from Ten Hag.