The blockbuster deals of 2020: Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United (£68m)

David Lynch
  • David Lynch
  • Updated: May 19, 2021, 16:43 CEST
  • 2 min read
The blockbuster deals of 2020: Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United (£68m)

It has been almost a year since Bruno Fernandes arrived at Manchester United in the third biggest January transfer in the Premier League’s history.

The Old Trafford club shelled out a whopping £68m [€77m] to bring the Portuguese in from Sporting CP in the hope it might aid their push for Champions League qualification.

Twelve months on from the midfielder’s arrival, we take a look at whether that huge outlay was worth it for the Red Devils.

How the deal went down

Along with Liverpool and Tottenham, United had been credited with an interest in Fernandes in the summer prior to his mid-season signing.

But it was suggested all three had doubts over whether a player who had dominated the Portuguese top-flight could transfer his impressive numbers to the Premier League.

By the following January, United were six points off the top-four pace and watching bitter rivals Liverpool run away with the league, and so they decided to eventually pull the trigger on a move.

As had been expected, Sporting drove a hard bargain, reportedly negotiating an initial fee of £47m, add-ons worth £21m, and a 10% sell-on clause.

Consequently, it took the Red Devils until January 30 – the day before the transfer deadline – to get a deal over the line.

What they said: Solskjaer on Fernandes

“Bruno’s goals and assists stats speak for themselves. He will be a fantastic addition to our team and he will help us push on in the second part of the season,” the Norwegian said of his new signing to the official Man Utd website.

“We have been tracking Bruno for many months and everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team.

“Most importantly, he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see.”

Fernandes to Manchester United – hit or miss?

Grade so far: A+

To say Bruno Fernandes has delivered on Solskjaer’s hopes in terms of goals, assists and leadership would be an understatement.

The 26-year-old took on talismanic status for United from pretty much his first game, proving that doubts over his ability to adapt to the Premier League were misplaced.

His 27 goals and 17 assists in 47 appearances since helped his new team make a late run for Champions League qualification that culminated in a final-day win at Leicester last season.

And he has taken United to new heights this term, leading the way in an unexpected challenge for the Premier League title.

Fernandes is, without doubt, United’s most important player, and one of the best signings in the club’s recent history.