Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has admitted that while he was never seeking to leave Old Trafford, he did want assurances from the hierarchy that the club’s ambitions still matched his own prior to signing a new contract in April.
Fernandes signed fresh terms, reported at the time to have doubled his wages, that extended his deal by a year until 2026 – the contract also includes a 12-month option until 2027.
Even with the huge financial incentive to sign, it wasn’t a simple ‘yes’ from the Portuguese because he first wanted answers about football. He has now revealed he demanded to know what United’s ambitions were and if there was a plan for the future.
“I came to the club and my aim is winning trophies because I know how big this club is and I know how big we can still be and achieve good things and big things,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
"So I had a conversation last year with the club when everyone knew that Ralf [Rangnick] was not the coach for the future. And when the club decided [who the manager would be] I spoke to the club and I said I want to be a solution for the club, I want to be helpful for the club, but I also want to know where we are going. Is here a plan, is here a future?”
Fernandes openly admits that ‘money is important’ because ‘you always want to have the best for yourself’ in any line of work or career path. But he stressed the bumper pay rise was not the driving factor behind signing a new contract, hinting he would have been prepared not to sign if he wasn’t satisfied with the answers to his questions about direction.
“At that time, I said I'm on good money, I don't want a new contract without knowing that we have a good future in the club. I want to know where we are going,” he explained.
"I don't need to know who the manager is, but I want to know just as a club, do you think we have a future? Do you have a plan for the future? What are your thoughts on where we can go? What does the club want? Does the club want to achieve trophies or does the club want to build something to go to the Champions League? Because for me, that's not enough.”
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Fernandes went on to say the history of the club ‘demands more’ than only fighting for fourth place in the Premier League and ‘demands trophies’ – United have not won anything since 2017, despite getting to a number of semi-finals and the 2021 Europa League final.
“The club has said they have a plan,” he said. “This is what they want, we agree with you that the level of the club has to be better than it has been in the past, we can achieve much more, we can do much more. And that's why I have never had my head out of here but just making sure the club is still in the same direction that it was when I signed.”
Source : 90min