Man Utd's staggering Prem position without Bruno Fernandes as captain flirts with exit

Bruno Fernandes has been a rare highlight in Man Utd’s season (Image: Getty)

Manchester United would be battling against Premier League relegation if not for the goals and assists of Bruno Fernandes. The Red Devils captain, one of the few stars to take any credit from a disappointing season, has flirted with an exit ahead of the summer transfer window in what may be seen as a major blow at Old Trafford.

Reports suggest that INEOS will consider suitable offers for all players other than Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho at the end of the season. The implication is that Fernandes’s future remains in some doubt.

The Portugal international has been a key player for United since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020 and his impact this season has been immense. Ten of his 15 goals across all competitions have come in the Premier League, while he has registered a further seven top-flight assists.

Take away his goals and assists and United would theoretically be a staggering 17 points worse off. That would put Erik ten Hag’s side in 16th place on 33 points, eight points clear of the relegation zone with three matches remaining.

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Bruno Fernandes has flirted with an exit from Man Utd at the end of the season (Image: Getty)

Individual quality from Fernandes, Garnacho and Hojlund have kept United in the hunt for qualification for European football next season. So to lose the 29-year-old before the start of next term would be a huge loss for United and shareholders INEOS.

Fernandes insists that he will not think about his future until after Euro 2024, although has not ruled out a departure. He told DAZN Portugal: “I’m not thinking about other things at the moment. Obviously, it doesn’t just depend on me, does it?

“A player always has to want to be here, but at the same time, you have to want him to stay. At the moment, I feel there’s that on both sides.

“So if you want me to be very honest, if I have to think about not continuing in the Premier League, it won’t be until after the Euros because nothing will be able to take my focus away from the FA Cup final and the Euros, as there’s nothing more important than that at the moment.”

United will surely want to keep Fernandes, even if he is one of the players for whom the hierarchy will not entertain offers at all. A revival next season, either under Ten Hag or a new manager, will likely be heavily dependent on Fernandes’ form.