Alvaro Fernandez transfer details: Benfica loan fee, buy options plus intriguing Man Utd clause

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The defender joined Benfica on loan on Tuesday night.

Alvaro Fernandez has completed his loan move to Benfica from Manchester United.

The 20-year-old defender spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Granada but was recalled by United on Sunday, prior to the announcement at 11:45pm on Tuesday night that Fernandez has joined the Portuguese champions.

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The transfer is an initial loan until the end of the season, which includes an obligation to buy. That part of the deal will be triggered if Fernandez starts 50 percent of Benfica’s matches, with the fee for a permanent deal agreed at €6m (£5.2m), plus an additional €3m (£2.6m) in potential add-ons.

Even if the Spaniard doesn’t reach the threshold of starting half of the games between now and the end of the season, Benfica can still activate the buy clause, while United also have a buy-back option and a sell-on fee included in the deal. It is not clear, however, if a loan fee has been paid or how much of Fernandez’s wages Benfica are currently paying.

The 20-year-old joined United from Real Madrid in 2020 and impressed at youth level before heading out on loan to Preston North End last season, where he won the club’s Young Player of the Year Award. The Lilywhites were keen for the player to return to Deepdale this season, instead he remained part of United's first-team squad and was closely monitored by Erik ten Hag, starting four pre-season games.

It was ultimately decided a loan to Granada was best, and the United boss has given the green light for Fernandez to join Benfica on a potentially permanent basis. The deal comes after Hannibal’s departure to Sevilla was announced this week, while Mateo Mejia is also expected to sign for the Spanish club in the coming days.

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It’s another example of United's recently adapted policy regarding youth players, with the club more willing to move on younger talents, as ManchesterWorld reported last summer.

As for Fernandez, he could make his Benfica debut on Friday when they host Boavista in the league. Unlike at United, the left-back will be involved in European football in the second half of the season, with Benfica facing Toulouse in a two-legged Europa League play-off in February.

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