Bruno Fernandes expected to remain at Man Utd this summer despite contract frustrations

Bruno Fernandes is believed to be frustrated with Ineos' handling of several situations in recent weeks.Bruno Fernandes is believed to be frustrated with Ineos' handling of several situations in recent weeks.
Bruno Fernandes is believed to be frustrated with Ineos' handling of several situations in recent weeks.
The latest on the future of Manchester United’s club captain.

Bruno Fernandes didn’t exactly help to downplay the speculation surrounding his future at Manchester United.

"I will be here until I've said, the club needs to want me," Fernandes told Sky Sports after Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Newcastle United. "I feel the club wants me to be part of the future, so as I said, I don't want to be a player the club doesn't want to have. If for some reason they don't want to have me, I will go.”

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Before the United midfielder could expand on those comments he was dragged away by Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman was waiting to address the Old Trafford crowd and, as he loomed larger and larger in the background, had been unaware what Fernandes was discussing. Had he known what the final question concerned, Ten Hag might have moved a bit quicker.

It’s not the first time Fernandes has hinted that there is more than a little unease between the club and their most consistent performer in recent years.

“A player always has to want to be here, but at the same time you have to want him to stay,” the 29-year-old said in an interview at the end of April, while he also discussed playing outside the Premier League in the future.

That Fernandes made those comments a day after reports emerged claiming United are willing to listen to offers for almost every first-team player was no coincidence. ManchesterWorld understands Fernandes is among a number of senior players who are disgruntled by Ineos’ handling of the situation, and the general approach since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial invest was confirmed in February.

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A lack of clear communication has frustrated several players, with a growing sense that experienced squad members are being pushed out. Raphael Varane’s departure has already been confirmed, while Casemiro is likely to depart this summer.

There has also been a feeling of uncertainty surrounding United's next steps and, as club captain, Fernandes sought clarity in a meeting with senior executives last week. Those talks were seen as largely positive with the player and club underlining their commitment to each other, and it’s believed there’s little chance of Fernandes leaving this summer, despite reports of Bayern Munich’s interest in the Portugal international.

Ten Hag emphasised that message after Tuesday’s win over Newcastle. “Absolutely the club wants to keep Bruno,” said the United manager. “He gives always his best and is an example, even with injuries. He loves football and wants to win. That is how I would describe his character”

But a new contract was not discussed during the in-person meeting. Sources have told ManchesterWorld that Fernandes would be interested in penning a new long-term deal at Old Trafford and feels his commitment, role as captain, and level of performance over several years, should be rewarded with a pay rise on similar terms to that of Marcus Rashford.

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The United attacker agreed an extension last summer on wages believed to be around £300,000 a week, significantly more than Fernandes’ salary, which is closer to £250,000 per week. The former Sporting Lisbon star signed a fresh contract at United in 2022 and that still has two years remaining, plus the option of an additional 12 months.

It’s understood that United are reluctant to offer the club captain a new lucrative deal as Ineos move to try and reduce overall spending on salaries and limit player power, although Fernandes is not seen as a disruptive influence in the squad.

For now, an exit in the summer of 2025 has not been ruled out, although it’s difficult to foresee how United’s squad will look in 12 months' time, with wholesale changes expected during the upcoming transfer window.

In the meantime, Fernandes is a player with a point to prove. The Portuguese is in excellent form and has provided 10 goal involvements in his last seven games, and was voted player of the match in Tuesday’s win over Newcastle.

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That victory ensures the Red Devils will still be in the running for a European spot on the final day of the season. If Ten Hag’s side better Newcastle’s result on Sunday they will secure a seventh-place finish and a spot in the Europa Conference League. Alternatively, United could still qualify for Europe next season if they beat Manchester City in next week’s FA Cup final.

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