Bruno Fernandes is still very much the hub of everything that’s currently happening at Sporting.
The Portuguese superstar has already surpassed double figures for goals and assists in all-competitions this season and is looking likely to continue the trend as the season progresses.
But it still remains to be seen whether he’ll be doing that at Sporting or somewhere else, as Goal have reported that Manchester United are set to revive their interest in the attacking midfielder.
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Of course, the 25-year-old midfielder has recently penned a new contract, bumping his release clause to €100 million (£85m), as the same source states, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops would not find it difficult to match that figure if needed.
Still, in order to find out how good Fernandes truly is, we sought the opinions of those who seemingly know him best.
Here’s what they had to say on the player himself…
Pires is a sports journalist working for a Portuguese publication that’s been following Fernandes rather closely.
Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about the 25-year-old midfielder and has insight on his player profile.
When speaking to BBC, Pires heaped praise on Man United’s target, comparing him to Frank Lampard in the process.
Here’s what he said in full, as quoted by BBC:
“He has killer instinct for a midfielder.
“Fernandes is most like Lampard, quite similar to him in some aspects, but not as strong yet. He is intelligent, the team plays around him, he is their centre of gravity.
“This season he is blowing every record – now he has to make the next step.”
If someone knows Fernandes then it’s Varandas, Sporting’s current president.
And he definitely knows how valuable the player is for the club as he confirmed it himself not that long ago when Sporting had to fend off the approaches of other European clubs.
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Speaking for their official website, as quoted by Goal, Varandas said the following:
“Bruno Fernandes proved to be not only a great player but a great professional and captain. The dignity and responsibility that he has always shown is exemplary.
“The day I turned down Tottenham’s proposal, I came to the training ground and spoke to him. I told him why I declined the offer and why he would stay here beyond the end of the market and he understood perfectly.
“Many European clubs want him and we know this is something we will always have to deal with.”
We all know the great mind behind Spurs’ current gaffer and Mourinho appears to be a huge fan of his compatriot.
During the summer, the Special One heaped praise on Fernandes, claiming that the midfielder has it all and highlighted some of his best qualities in the process.
Here’s what he told Eleven Sports (via Mirror):
“I was surprised by the season of Bruno Fernandes.
“It was easy to predict quality, he is a very good player, but scored a very high number of goals for a midfield player. It shows that you need to have instinct and qualities to score and he has it all.
“He strikes the ball well, heads well, cool when he is one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He finds space in the penalty area. It’s all there.”
It seems that Fernandes is a player of the highest calibre and someone Man United would be wise to chase in the near future.
Both his skills and his mentality have been praised by some big names on the footballing stage and the Red Devils could definitely use a talent of his ilk in their squad.