Could Bruno Fernandes be set for surprise Man United exit?

Manchester United caused a major stir in the English press early this week, after an article sourced from within the club suggested they would listen to offers for all of their senior players this summer.

The remarkable piece, ran by The Daily Telegraph, was soon picked up by all major news outlets and the club have yet to push back on the story. The development could have implications for in-form club captain Bruno Fernandes, who was coy when asked about his future by Portuguese media on Tuesday.

United recently finalised a 25% partial takeover by conglomerate INEOS, led by Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe, who is from Greater Manchester and is a United fan, has wasted little time in making changes off the field. A host of departures have been announced, while Omar Berrada has been plucked from Manchester City as new CEO, Jason Wilcox left his role as Southampton Director of Football to become United’s Technical Director and ex-Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain executive Jean-Claude Blanc has been added to the club board.

The Red Devils are likely to finalise the appointment of Newcastle Director of Football Dan Ashworth in a similar role at Old Trafford at some point in the near future. Other additions are expected throughout the club, with the future of current manager Erik ten Hag likely to earn many column inches in upcoming weeks.

Monday’s article indicating the club will listen to offers for all senior players has been received as an inditement of INEOS’ dissatisfaction with a disastrous season. United are out of contention for a Champions League slot, sitting in 6th place ahead of the remaining few matches in the Premier League. An FA Cup final against rivals Manchester City offers the chance of some salvation, but will not detract from a subpar performance throughout Ten Hag’s second term.

According to the Telegraph piece written by experienced journalist James Ducker, United have ruled promising youngsters such as Kobee Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund as unsellable. Although the remainder of the squad are not explicitly up for sale, United are apparently willing to entertain offers for all other players.

Thoughts of future after the Euros - Fernandes

Marcus Rashford’s status at the club drew the majority of the attention in the British media when the article was released, but skipper Bruno Fernandes also finds himself associated with what could be a ruthless overhaul this summer. Fernandes has been in excellent form of late, but the Portugal man was inevitably asked about the situation by DAZN on Tuesday.

“I’m not thinking about other things at the moment,” Fernandes said. “It doesn’t just depend on me. A player always has to want to be here, but, at the same time, they have to want him to stay here and, at the moment, I feel that on both sides.

“This season was not at the level I wanted, individually and collectively. We can end the season by winning the FA Cup, then we have the European Championship, which is very important for us.

“If I have to think about not continuing in the Premier League, it will only be after the European Championships. Nothing will take my focus away from this end of season and the European Championship. There is nothing more important than that right now.”

The Telegraph claims United will be working on a modest transfer budget this summer owing to a large spend in recent years and the failure to qualify for the Champions League. As such, sales will be essential in funding changes at Old Trafford.

While many would expect the likes of Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood to be priority departures, the brutal tone of Monday’s press release has led some to believe the new United directorship would be open to making far larger statements regarding outgoings.

By @SeanGillen9