Manchester United risk losing Bruno Fernandes to Barcelona or Real Madrid if they continue to struggle in the Champions League, says former Red Devils striker Andy Cole.
Fernandes has become an integral member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team since arriving from Sporting Lisbon back in January.
The Portuguese midfielder has registered 23 goals and 14 assists in his first 40 appearances for United, helping the club snatch a third-place Premier League finish last season.
Despite his brilliance, though, Solskjaer’s men were unable to make it out of the Champions League group stages this term.
United fell at the first hurdle in Europe’s elite-level competition after suffering a 3-2 defeat away at RB Leipzig last week, leaving them in third place in Group H and demoting them to the Europa League as a result.
And Cole fears Fernandes’ head could be turned by the likes of Barca or Madrid if their struggles in the competition continue.
“I’m very surprised to see how quickly Bruno Fernandes has taken to the Premier League since he joined Manchester United,” he said on the Target Men Podcast.
“Bruno Fernandes joined the club for a big fee and I have to say I didn’t know too much about him.
“I wondered if he was going to be able to continue scoring goals and producing assists at the same rate this season now that clubs knew more about him, but he’s arguably been even better!
“Bruno Fernandes doesn’t wear the captain’s armband but anyone watching this Manchester United team can see that he is the leader of the dressing room and he leads by example on the pitch. He’s a world class quality player.
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“The concern for Manchester United is that Bruno Fernandes has well and truly put himself on the map now.
“It’s probably only a matter of time until there are rumours of a Barcelona and Real Madrid being interested in signing him and if Manchester United continue to not perform in the Champions League, no-one knows if his head could be turned in the years ahead.”
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