When you look at how the season has gone so far, it’s starting to become clear why Manchester United and Real Madrid were looking to sign a central midfielder last Summer.
The need looks particularly pressing at Old Trafford. Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira haven’t impressed enough when given the chance, and there’s a clear need for someone to score and create goals in that number 10 position.
Real Madrid may be okay for now, but Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are getting older and don’t have the same athleticism any more. They might still have a future playing in a deeper role, but Zinedine Zidane needs a player capable of linking the defence and attack together while also scoring regularly.
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Bruno Fernandes had an outstanding season last year where he scored 31 goals, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they wanted to keep him for as long as possible. The Sporting CP Twitter has just announced he’s signed a new deal:
?? “Para mim é, e sempre será, um privilégio estar aqui e poder vestir a camisola do Sporting CP” @B_Fernandes8 ??
— Sporting Clube de Portugal (@Sporting_CP) November 26, 2019
Ordinarily that would usually mean the player won’t be leaving any time soon, but a report from Yahoo has shed some further light on the situation.
They confirmed that United and Real were linked with the player alongside Man City and Spurs. Interestingly the new contract doesn’t actually add any more years than his previous deal, but they do suggest it raises the release clause to €100m.
It remains to be seen if this is purely a stunt to generate a higher transfer fee for the club, or if it will mean he stays in Portugal for the long term. The release clause is still a realistic amount for elite clubs to pay, but it would represent a big commitment for any of those teams to make.