Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has called out reports linking him with a transfer to Barcelona as “bad journalism.”
Fernandes quickly became a talismanic figure at Old Trafford following his move from Sporting CP in January 2020, but has suffered a major dip in form in the first half of the 2021-22 campaign.
The 27-year-old has only scored once in his last 14 Premier League outings and it has been suggested that he is one of several players to have grown unhappy at United as they sit seventh in the table, four points adrift of the Champions League places.
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What did Bruno Fernandes say?
Portuguese outlet SPORT TV has reported that Fernandes has been offered to Barca as his representatives seek to broker a January transfer for the midfielder.
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However, Fernandes has come out to set the record straight in a direct response to the Sport TV post on Instagram, telling his followers: “And I thought the new year only started a few days ago, yet we’re already on April 1! Or is this once again just bad journalism?” It appears that Sport TV has since removed the post detailing the transfer rumor, along with Fernandes’ response.
He’s not the only Manchester United teammate to speak out against transfer rumors this January. Fellow midfielder Fred has also come out strong, posting on Twitter, “Over the past few days I have read several fake news [articles] involving my name and other MUFC athletes,’ wrote Fred on social media on Friday. ‘I’m not in the habit of answering controversial stuff publicly, but this time I will have to. I just want to say that I am very happy here and I have never expressed any dissatisfaction and the possibility of leaving the club. Don’t get misled by fake news. We will continue to work with great dedication to pursue our goals.”
I just want to say that I am very happy here and I have never expressed any dissatisfaction and the possibility of leaving the club. Don’t get misled by fake news. We will continue to work with great dedication to pursue our goals.
— Fred Rodrigues (@Fred08oficial) January 7, 2022
Marcus Rashford did the same, posting, on Twitter, “I read something earlier that said I’d been quiet on here but what can I say that will make this better other than showing you all on the pitch?”
“I’m not sulking, I’m not unhappy,” Rashford continued. “My dedication and my desire to be here should never been in question. I love this club.”
Fernandes’ recent struggles
Fernandes recorded 40 goals and 29 assists across his first one-and-a-half seasons with the Red Devils, helping them finish second in the Premier League and reach a Europa League final in the process. However, the Portugal international has just five goals and nine assists to his name from 24 outings so far this term and seems to have lost his clinical edge in the final third of the pitch.
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The natural #10 has found it exceedingly difficult to find room in interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s rigid 4-4-2 formation that features a deep-lying midfield pivot and leaves Fernandes either stuck out on the wing where he has struggled, or on the bench. Since Rangnick joined the club, Fernandes has just two full 90-minute performances, opposed to being substituted off three times and left on the bench as a substitute once.
Supporters will hope that interim manager Ralf Rangnick can start to bring the best out of Fernandes again sooner rather than later, with his next chance to shine likely to come when United take on Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday.