Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is surprised that Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes has not been transferred this summer.
Fernandes' future has been a hot topic in the transfer window, with a number of European football's biggest clubs linked with a move for the playmaker after his exceptional 2018-19 season.
With that in mind, Ronaldo said he is shocked a deal to leave the Lisbon club has not been finalised, telling TVI he sees Fernandes as one of the biggest stars in Portuguese football (h/t Chris Burton of Goal):
"In the national team, you have [Joao] Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, who nobody knows why he doesn't leave.
"In the national team, you have a lot of talent, so I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Possibly this new generation will be the best at the talent level, but that's not enough. They have to want to.
"I have spoken to him [Fernandes]. I'm a captain who wants to help and be helped."
Per Burton, both Real Madrid and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the player. The latter have missed their chance to bring him in in 2019, though, as the transfer window for Premier League sides has shut.
Madrid have until September 2 to sign players, however, and according to Manu Sainz of AS, Fernandes has been offered to Madrid, with Sporting said to want €70 million (£64 million) for their star man.
The buzz around Fernandes is warranted; he was one of the most productive midfielders in European football last season.
OptaJoao provided the figures behind his recent red-hot form:
The UEFA Europa League Twitter account looked at last season's numbers in full and at a couple of his best goals from the competition:
Ronaldo left Sporting at a young age to join Manchester United, with whom he developed into one of the best footballers in the game before his world-record transfer to Madrid in 2009. With that in mind, Fernandes' national-team captain makes him an ideal mentor.
At 24, Fernandes has had to wait longer than Ronaldo for his big move, and it will be intriguing to see how he fares when he does leave Sporting.
Football blogger Liam Canning thinks the Portuguese would be able to make a big impact at a club of the size of United:
Ronaldo clearly feels as though the midfielder is destined for great things too. With Fernandes, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva in the setup, there are plenty of high-class options to support the Selecao skipper in the national team for the coming years.
There's still time for Fernandes to leave Sporting, although the speculation surrounding his future doesn't appear to have had a negative effect on his focus. He scored an excellent goal for his team in the 2-1 win over Braga in the Portuguese top flight on Sunday.