Bruno Fernandes came close to demanding a transfer away from Manchester United earlier this year over the European Super League, according to reports. Fernandes has been a revelation for United since his move from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, but his relationship with the club came to a head in April and could have led to his departure.
The Portuguese star has contributed 44 goals and 29 assists in 91 appearances for United since joining for an initial £46.6million halfway through the 2019/20 campaign.
He has established himself as one of the team’s most important players under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, combining his goal contributions with leadership on the pitch.
However, the mutually beneficial relationship could have come to a premature end over the summer had the European Super League gone ahead as planned.
United were one of the driving forces behind the controversial proposal, which included all of the Premier League’s Big Six and most of Europe’s top clubs.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has since emerged as one of the key players in the idea, which were also backed firmly by co-chairman Joel Glazer and his family.
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This new piece of information tallies with Fernandes’ stance at the time, because he was the first player from one of the clubs involved to speak out against the plans.
Back on April 20, just a day after the official announcement, Fernandes wrote on Instagram: “Dreams can’t be bought”.
His comment was in reply to a post from Wolves forward Daniel Podence which read: “The Ball. The Song. The Dream. The Zidane’s volley. Kaka’s Solo. Liverpool In Athens. Ole in Barcelona. Cris and Seedorf. There some things we just can’t really pay for it.”
Fernandes was far from the only United player angry about the club’s involvement in the formation of the Super League.
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Luke Shaw was vocal on a Zoom call with Woodward and director of football John Murtough on April 19 and reportedly relayed his belief that the players were being treated like children.
The United players were incensed by the lack of consultation over the breakaway league and were worried about the knock-on effects on their international careers.
The Super League soon crumbled under the pressure, with all six Premier League sides withdrawing their support after fan protests and threats from UEFA.
Woodward announced he would be stepping down from his role by the end of the year, while Joel Glazer, who was to be the Super League’s vice-chairman, wrote a grovelling apology to fans.