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Bruno Fernandes Transfers to Manchester United, Signs 5-and-a-Half-Year Contract

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2020

SETUBAL, PORTUGAL - JANUARY 11: Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP celebrates after scoring a goal during the Liga NOS match between Vitoria FC and Sporting CP at Estadio do Bonfim on January 11, 2020 in Setubal, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Manchester United have completed the signing of Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

The Premier League giants confirmed their latest signing via the club's official website on Thursday. A statement from the player read:  

"My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club. For me to now play for Manchester United feels incredible, I have worked hard to get to this moment and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies. 

"I want to thank Sporting for everything they have done for me. It is surreal to hear the nice words that have been said about me from players that used to play for this team.

"A massive thank you to [manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] and everyone at Manchester United for the trust they have shown in me and I can’t wait to start to repay that on the pitch."

Fernandes joins the Red Devils having been linked with a move to Old Trafford for most of 2019. He follows in the footsteps of Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved to United directly from Sporting in 2003. 

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The 25-year-old captained Sporting to a 3-1 win over Vitoria Setubal earlier in January when he scored a decisive brace in his final appearance for the club, via VSports:

Fernandes has scored 15 goals and recorded 14 assists in 27 appearances across all competitions this season, an average of 1.07 direct goal involvements per game.

The playmaker has developed into a more clinical goalscorer in the past two campaigns, finishing the 2018-19 campaign with 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 total appearances for Sporting.

It looked as though the former Udinese and Sampdoria midfielder was on the verge of leaving Sporting last summer. Fernandes cried for the second time in as many matches following a 5-0 defeat to Benfica in the 2019 Portuguese Super Cup, suggesting his time in Lisbon was over, per Metro.

United failed to recruit a creative midfielder in the summer and gave a new two-year contract to Juan Mata in June 2019, but Fernandes' arrival promises to bring some much-needed spark.

Solskjaer boasts a threatening front three in Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James, but a shortage of supply has led to inconsistency this season.

The Mirror's James Nursey wrote in mid-December that United remained interested in signing Leicester City and England star James Maddison, but Fernandes' arrival could signal an end to that pursuit. 

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