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Transfer lowdown: Man United target Bruno Fernandes

Man Utd target Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have been linked with Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes, with a deal looking close before next week’s deadline approaching.

According to the Mirror, there have been breakthrough talks for Man United with Sporting Lisbon’s representatives over a potential 55m move.

The Portuguese midfield maestro would be a key signing for Solskjaer, with Man United struggling for goals and assists from midfield. So far this season, Fernandes, in Liga NOS has 8 goals and 7 assists from 16 games.

Compare this to Man United’s 7 goals from midfield in the Premier League (3 – James, McTominay, 1 – Pereira) and 14 assists (6 – James, 3 – Pereira, 2 – Mata, Pogba, 1 – McTominay). Then Fernandes is a game-changer.

Last season the midfielder bagged 32 goals and 18 assists. The season before, that yielded 16 goals and 20 assists. Fernandes is not an overnight sensation, he has consistently produced since his move to Sporting Lisbon back in 2017.

The Portuguese international is at his strongest playing through the middle, even though he can play in an LW/RW role. He is the perfect attacking midfield, through balls, key passes and long shots are all high on his stats.

Fernandes has a range of passing in his locker. However, what is more, impressive is his goal to game ratio over the years – finding the back of the net 56 times in two and a half years in Lisbon.

However, Fernandes alone will not transform Man United. He will improve them no doubt, and ease the midfield pressure of course. Like most players from abroad, it could take time to bed into the rigours of Premier League life.

This is something Man Utd have not got, time. The fans are losing patience, fast. Solskjaer needs Fernandes to hit the ground running…should he make the move.

Man Utd need to spend 300m on these 2 stars to transform the team in January

Man Utd target Bruno Fernandes

Man United are in a position they haven’t been in for many a year. Probably not since the days of the infamous Denis Law back-heel which relegated the club.

Albeit things are not that bad, as we are only in the opening games of the season. However, things need to change and players need to come back from injury to turn the Red Devils fortunes around.

The January window, Solskjaer’s second chance at making this team his own, is going to prove pivotal.

Now in the summer window the message was loud and clear – gone of the days Man Utd are going to splash the cash in order to but their way to the top. Instead, it’s all about youth. This may have been a great plan at the time, however, things are very different already and in January Ed Woodward and his merry men need to get that cheque book wide open.

Following on from a Lee Sharpe interview on Talksport, he thinks his former side need at least 300m to make this team challenge again.

Two players they should use that ‘budget’ on, need to transform the team, like these two below…

Harry Kane

The 135m rated by Transfermarkt striker may very well see this as a step down from Tottenham. However, with the recent showings of his Spurs side, things are not exactly rosy in north London.

Man United need a proven Premier League striker. If OGS can sell Kane the vision, United have one of the deadliest strikers on their books that would surely catapult the reds up the table.

Let’s be honest he’s used to carrying a team for many a year.

Bruno Fernandes

The Sporting Lisbon man is already amongst the goals and assists in Liga Nos. Four goals and four assists in 6 games.

Rated at 49.5m by Transfermarkt, Fernandes comes cheap and could be the missing link between midfield and attack. With United looking lacklustre in creativity this season.

His stats so far read – 10 games, 7 goals, 5 assists in all competition. Solskjaer missed a trick not bringing him in, in the summer and can’t afford to miss out again.

It’s obvious Man Utd need 1 of these midfielders in January following Leicester City performance

Man Utd is currently suffering from a squad depth crisis in a season filled with football, as they have the demands of the Premier League. They lost six first-team players in the transfer window and brought in three, leaving a scarce midfield and attack in front of a fairly solid defence.

The 1-0 victory at Old Trafford was certainly a good team performance. But Man Utd holding out for a narrow win from a penalty at home against Leicester is cause for concern.

Man Utd was dominated on the ball despite being solid defensively. They had 41% possession and made only 345 passes compared to Leicester’s 471. This shows that a commanding and dominant midfielder is needed at Man Utd to help them control the game, as a slight slip up could nullify the one goal that the Reds can’t seem to add to.

Pogba was out of the line up due to a minor injury, and his presence could have allowed for Man Utd to see more of the ball. However, Fred came on as a substitute for Matic and partnered alongside Scott McTominay which instantly saw the Reds look more comfortable and confident in possession.

Having Fred and McTominay as deep midfielders is the way to go for Man Utd, should they want to dominate possession. But having a creative midfielder in front of them is crucial to Solskjaer’s side racking up goals on a consistent basis.

With Pogba seeking a move away, Juan Mata reaching the latter stages of his career and Angel Gomes arguably not ready for first-team football, who can Solskjaer add to his side to undertake this role?

Creative Midfielders

Ironically, Man Utd could have solved this issue in summer. Being heavily linked to the likes of James Maddison and Bruno Fernandes, they are precisely the calibre of player that Solskjaer needs in his side. Both are keen on scoring and assisting whilst adding a spark of flare and quality to their sides.

What if 32 goals-midfielder had joined Man Utd in the summer?

Man Utd target Bruno Fernandes

Man Utd was linked to several midfielders over summer. Fans were furious on deadline day when no additions to the midfield were made, and foretold the struggles that Man Utd would face…

In Man Utd’s opening fixtures they have suffered one defeat and two draws, winning only one game using counter-attacks. This is worrying as most teams will now know to defend in a compact manner against the Reds. As recent games have shown that they do not have the midfield to pick out a man against a solid defence.

This is where the well-rounded midfielder Bruno Fernandes comes in. Last season, Bruno Fernandes scored 32 and got 18 assists in 53 appearances for Sporting Lisbon, drawing interest from clubs such as Man Utd, Real Madrid, Tottenham and Liverpool.

His form has continued into the current season. Fernandes has scored 2 and assisted 4 in four games in Liga Nos so far. Undoubtedly, he is one of the greatest midfielders in European football. He would have jumped at the chance to join Man Utd and prove himself on a much bigger stage.

Where would Man Utd be with Bruno Fernandes?

Should Bruno Fernandes have joined Man Utd in summer, I wholeheartedly believe that the Reds would have won each of their games so far this season.

On top of that, Paul Pogba having a talented midfielder to play alongside may have gone some way in encouraging him to stick around at Old Trafford. Increasing the chances that he will partake in the rebuild of Man Utd. The opportunities presented to the forward three of James, Martial and Rashford would also increase massively. Let alone the quality of football being displayed.

Overall, bringing in Bruno Fernandes, or any superstar creative midfielder, would have transformed this under-performing Man Utd. As a key ingredient would have been added. But most importantly, of course, it would have made the recent transfer window a lot more interesting.

Man Utd’s rejection of star striker shows they have finally learnt from past mistakes, agreed?

Manchester United signed Alexis Sanchez making him the highest-paid player in the league in order to keep him away from Manchester City. Perhaps the board have woken up…

As rumours in summer about Paulo Dybala’s potential move to Old Trafford fell through, fans were upset with the lack of attacking options. Especially after losing Romelu Lukaku and now Alexis Sanchez.

However, Daily Mail reports that Ed Woodward considered the Argentine to be another ‘Alexis Sanchez situation’, after demanding a £350,000-per-week wage.

Solskjaer himself has stated that Man Utd are seeking players who will wear the shirt with pride. Not those who use the club as an opportunity to gain a ridiculous wage with little repercussions for under-performing.

Although the Reds have limited options in attacking areas, it is of no falsity that Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are responding positively to the new manager and want long, successful careers in Manchester.

This gives some consolation after a dreadful transfer window. That Man Utd may be waking up from their passive slumber of allowing the club to fall in to ruin. Any changes to the transfer policies would be positive, as the club have been heavily criticised for failing on that front for many years.

What is the board’s true motive?

However, Man Utd fans are much smarter than Man Utd owners. They rightfully question every move that they make. For example, it’s very unlikely that Bruno Fernandes wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity to play at Old Trafford, yet he wasn’t signed. Despite being scouted all season.

Therefore, there is room to believe that Man Utd’s board are more concerned about parting with cash.

Similarly, Paul Pogba has publicly voiced his wishes to leave. But he has been kept, possibly for marketing purposes as well as avoiding having to bring in expensive replacements.

Unfortunately for fans, the truth will be revealed in two or three years time. By reflecting on previous transfer windows and how the club has progressed or regressed since Solskjaer took the hot seat.

Forget Sancho: Man Utd need to go for 1 of these 3 in January

Reports now suggest that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to wait until next summer to sign Borussia Dortmund’s English superstar Jadon Sancho. Despite the calibre of signing he is, it works out well for Man Utd that they will have to pursue other targets in the January transfer window…

Such as, to little surprise, a creative midfielder.

Solskjaer’s positive mindset and style of play have certainly turned many frowns upside-down. But with only four points out of a possible nine, the start of the campaign hasn’t gone to plan for the Norwegian.

Without signing a midfielder, every single Man Utd fan predicted the future. Supplying the forwards with goal-scoring opportunities is near impossible with the only midfielder with an eye for a pass is Paul Pogba. However, even Pogba has critical flaws which diminish the opportunities for goal scoring, as he tends to hold onto the ball for too long.

This could be a result of Solskjaer opting to play the Frenchman in a deeper role, but being worth £150million and renowned as one of the world’s best, more needs to be expected of him this season.

Waiting until next summer to sign Jadon Sancho is a good thing for Man Utd. They can now put their funds and focus during the January transfer window into fixing Man Utd’s midfield.

Solskjaer’s favoured front three so far, Rashford, Martial and James, each have two goals from three games. With better supply, there is little room for argument that this forward three can’t bring success to Man Utd.

The midfield is the issue, Man Utd’s squad currently resembles a Polo mint. So, who should Solskjaer target in January to fill the hole in his under-performing team?

Here are three options…

Kai Havertz

Last season, 20-year-old German Kai Havertz scored 17 goals, with 4 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances. This 6 foot 2 midfielder can play in and around the midfield, a very versatile player. Similarly, Jesse Lingard is often played in central midfield, attacking midfield, and wide midfield/wing, just like Havertz.

The difference is that Havertz is seven years younger and can actually impact the team on a very consistent basis. Lingard has zero goals or assists in the Premier League during the 2019 calendar year.

Bruno Fernandes

One of Man Utd’s biggest transfer errors was not bringing in Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes has played three league games for Sporting Lisbon so far this season, scoring 1 and assisting 4 already.

Should Man Utd have signed the Portuguese midfielder in summer, there is little doubt that Solskjaer’s side could have gained better results from the defensive set-ups of Wolves and Crystal Palace.

Wilfred Ndidi

A 22-year-old defensive midfielder. Post-match interviews with the Nigerian show him to be a very humble and graceful professional, the perfect character for what Solskjaer is looking for.

By having this ball-winner in the central defensive midfield position, Paul Pogba will have much more freedom in attacking areas where he is most dangerous.

Ndidi currently has more tackles and interceptions in the Premier League than any other player so far this season. With him guarding Man Utd’s brand new defence, it’s hard to imagine the Reds conceding many goals.

With Pogba higher up the pitch, his tendency to lose possession wouldn’t harm the team nearly as much as when he loses it in his own half. The prime example being Crystal Palace’s winning goal at Old Trafford.

Man Utd pass up on 75.1% pass completion rated midfielder, a good move?

Man Utd target Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United decided not to sign Bruno Fernandes this summer, and the Daily Mail have reported that club scouts warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the midfielder gives away the ball too much.

Man United have been linked with the 24-year-old throughout the summer however, club scouts who were watching him decided that his style of play would not suit the team.

Even though Fernandes works with an element of risk in the attacking third, his pass completion was 75.1% last season. This has not been deemed high enough by the scouts. If you compare this stat to Paul Pogba, his pass rate is 82.8% and if we move away from Man United, Kevin De Bruyne has a consistent pass rate of 82% and over.

Personally, I think we now analyse players too much by stats and not through actually watching them play. Man United will be looking for new options now in midfield, however, here’s two things Fernandes could have brought to the Manchester team.

Positions

He is known as an attacking midfielder and is comfortable in that position. Fernandes also has the role of a striker in his profile. This means that Manchester United have missed out on a possible goalscorer too. Since 2017, the 24-year-old has appeared 66 times for Sporting Lisbon and scored 31 times. He’s also been a part of Portugal’s youth teams and senior squad since 2012.

Cheaper

Harry Maguire

Obviously, Man United went all out for Harry Maguire this summer and need to try and cut down on spending, so Fernandes would have been a cheaper midfield option than some. According to Transfermarkt, he went to Sporting for £8.72 million and is now worth £49 million. Yes, you can find cheaper out there although Man United’s scouts clearly have a high standard and that would have to be met.

Domino effect: Man Utd, Spurs, Juventus and Barcelona eye up crazy transfer day window finish

One transfer could result in another as all the top teams are eyeing similar talents, on what should be a crazy transfer deadline day.

The top teams in Europe are in a crazy transfer mess as of right now. One signing of specific players could ignite a chain of transfers between the European giants.

The Football Manc Cave brings you the story of the one the craziest transfer windows ever, it goes something like this…

Spurs, Coutinho, Lo Celso and Bruno Fernandes

It’s been all over the news that Sporting Lisbon’s golden boy Bruno Fernandes has been seeking a move to the Premier League, most likely to be Man Utd. However, Spurs are now linked to him, Barcelona’s Coutinho and Lo Celso to play in the attacking midfield roles. Should they bring in any of these midfielders, it could result in one of their own moving to a rival club…

Man Utd, Barcelona and Eriksen

Should Eriksen be replaced be Bruno Fernandes, who is rumoured to have been a target of Solskjaer’s, Man Utd may well be forced to sign their wantaway midfielder Christian Eriksen for a phenomenal fee. However, should the likes of Coutinho or Lo Celso move, Man Utd would still have an option of Bruno Fernandes.

But with the heavy price placed on Eriksen for other Premier League clubs of £130million, a move to La Liga looks more likely, as Barcelona could snatch him for less than £50million.

However…

Real Madrid and Pogba

Real Madrid attempted a £27.6million bid plus James Rodriguez for the French World Cup winner, which was rejected by Man Utd. But it demonstrates how desperate manager Zinedine Zidane is for his signature. Should Paul Pogba make his current manager Solskjaer look silly and leave the club this summer, Man Utd would then need to bring two midfielders into their side.

Juventus and Lukaku… and Dyala too

Juventus have been keen to sign Romelu Lukaku this summer, making a bid involving their Argentine Paulo Dybala. This fell through due to complications over wages. But Juventus are still keen on bringing the forward in despite telling Dybala he was surplus to requirements. This could leave the Argentine desperate for a move away, and Tottenham Hotspur has reportedly bid £64.4million for him.

Dybala to Tottenham would allow Juventus to afford Romelu Lukaku, however, this deal looks off due to Inter Milan stumping up some serious cash for the Belgian. This would leave Solskjaer desperate to bring in a striker.

However, should Pogba move to Real Madrid, Man Utd would have to look at Bruno Fernandes as well as Eriksen, who may have his price lowered due to Tottenham desperate to recoup funds from the Dybala move.

It’s a whirlwind of a transfer window, and all will be revealed on deadline day.

These two Man Utd youngsters must start against AC Milan tomorrow, agree?

Solskjaer at a Man Utd press conference

A big season is ahead of Man Utd and this summer has taught us that the players, in particular, have to be match-ready.

Solskjaer has one game left in pre-season against AC Milan, in Wales. Should he come away with a victory, Man Utd will be unbeaten in six games.

However, Man Utd’s previous game against Norway’s mid-table Kristiansund it proved that the Reds lacked quality in the final third. There were also instances of terrible organisation in defence, struggling with crosses and counter-attacks.

According to reports and rumours, Man Utd’s most likely transfers are Bruno Fernandes, Paulo Dybala and Harry Maguire. Sticking these players into the current squad patches up the weaknesses and faults in a promising team. Investment is what is needed to compliment the strives made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Man Utd fans grow increasingly frustrated with the investment made in this summer transfer window, amongst others. Recent antics by Man Utd’s board tell us that the rumoured-ins for the club are far from guaranteed.

With this in mind, The Football Manc Cave brings you two young players in particular who should be given game time against AC Milan. They may have to be ready to step-in should Man Utd fail to secure any more signatures…

Axel Tuanzebe

As mentioned, Man Utd’s defence is still abysmal. Without Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the mix, there is no one you can trust 100%. Tuanzebe, 21, had a fantastic season in Championship last season. He helped them to the point of promotion and had fans singing his name. He has the potential to be a Man Utd centre-back and has stated that he wants to be just that, we just have to see the proof in the pudding.

According to reports, Tuanzebe is currently linked with a loan move back to Aston Villa, as well as being linked with Newcastle United. Demonstrating that teams want him to prevent demotion for their club. However, it also indicates that Man Utd may be purchasing a defender.

Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer’s only proven natural striker is 17-year old Mason Greenwood. Despite Anthony Martial being very clinical, and Marcus Rashford being powerful, Greenwood has more of a natural number nine instinct. His movement and awareness have people likening him to Robin Van Persie, a man who won Man Utd the Premier League.

Man Utd are lacking quality in front of goal, and should it be Lukaku or Dybala who has a bad season for the Reds, Greenwood could be the one who saves the season for them.

What will become of Man Utd this season if no more transfers walk through the door?

Amid speculation of transfers, there is one probable outcome that tends to be glossed over. Could this Man Utd squad cope without anymore transfers this season?

It is no large secret that Man Utd’s board are frugal with their spending. Tending to only spend big money on ‘shirt-sellers’ who will recoup the money spend by shirt sales and brand offers. As opposed to bringing success on the pitch. Examples such as Di Maria, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.

Should Arsenal land Pepe, and with Aston Villa spending tonnes, both will have out-spent Man Utd in this summer transfer window. Both clubs are significantly less wealthy and arguably in less need of a rebuild than Man Utd.

Man Utd’s current squad is composed of two world-class players; David De Gea and Paul Pogba. The rest are either previously fantastic players who have lost their legs such as Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez. Or, promising but unproven youth players such as Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Dan James etc.

Solskjaer’s ultimate goal is trophies, admitted by himself and his squad. However, the Man Utd squad in comparison to the squads of Man City and Liverpool is lacking in quality, immensely.

Man Utd’s current squad is on par with the likes of Everton, Wolves and Leicester. The professionalism, demands and fantastic coaching may be all that separates the clubs by around 10 points in the league table.

What could Man Utd be this season?

If the most common reports hold truth and are followed through, Man Utd’s squad quality could go from a 6th or 7th place position to a 2nd or 3rd.

With Harry Maguire bolstering the defence, Man Utd would have no big weaknesses at the back. With Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Paulo Dybala in and around the midfield and attack, the squad would be transformed.

Man Utd’s current squad have fantastic quality, but there is not enough depth in it. By allowing the current ‘fantastic’ players to be rotated with potential signings who are ‘world-class’ players, the structure of the squad would be able to match Man City and possibly even surpass Liverpool.

What if there are no more signings?

Despite Daniel James showing great potential and unbelievable athleticism, he is nowhere near a finished product. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, however, is one of the best right-backs in European football, a very good signing.

But with no more signings, there are not enough holes being patched. And Man Utd will find themselves outside of the top 4 once again, battling for 5th and 6th place with Arsenal, Leicester, Everton and Wolves.

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