Paul Merson questions Man United’s decision to hand Bruno Fernandes new contract
Paul Merson admits his surprise that Manchester United decided to tie down Bruno Fernandes to a new long-term deal
Paul Merson has questioned Manchester United’s decision to reward Bruno Fernandes with a new four-year contract.
The Portugal international put pen to paper on a new deal on Friday that will keep the attacking midfielder at Old Trafford until 2026.
Fernandes’ new contract is thought to have doubled his wages to take his pay packet to around £240,000 a week at the 20-time English champions despite a challenging season for both player and club.
The 27-year-old has scored 49 times and has made 39 assists in 117 appearances in all competitions over the past 18 months since his big-money move to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon on 2020 January transfer window.
The Manchester United midfielder opted to commit to a new deal at Old Trafford despite continued uncertainty surrounding the managerial position seeing as current interim head coach Ralf Rangnick will move into a director of football role at the end of the season.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is surprised that Manchester United didn’t pause negotiations with Fernandes and wait until a new manager has been selected before handing the Portuguese midfielder a new lucrative deal.
“Bruno Fernandes’ contract situation is an interesting one and pretty much sums up where Manchester United are as a club at the moment,” Merson told Sportskeeda.
“I’m not saying he’s a bad player by any stretch of the imagination, but how can they give someone a five-year contract when they haven’t even got a permanent manager?
“What if a new manager comes in and doesn’t quite fancy Fernandes, because there’s every chance coaches won’t like the way he throws his hands up in frustration or his style of play.
“He’s a good player and I like him, but he hasn’t set the world alight at Manchester United this season. I just find it a bit strange that they’ve given a massive long-term contract to a player when they haven’t sorted out their managerial dilemma, it’s a big call by the club.”
Fernandes moved to Manchester United in a £67.6m deal from Sporting Lisbon in the 2020 January transfer window.
The Portugal international has scored 35 times in 78 appearances in the Premier League since his big-money move.