Mata warns Fernandes he 'will have to be patient' for No 8 shirt

Juan Mata jokingly warns Bruno Fernandes he ‘will have to be patient’ in pursuit of No 8 shirt at Manchester United after Spaniard signs one year contract extension with Red Devils

  • Juan Mata jokingly sent a warning out to Bruno Fernandes over squad number 
  • The Spaniard has signed a one-year deal to remain with Manchester United
  • The 33-year-old joked Fernandes ‘will have to wait’ for his favourite No 8 shirt 

Juan Mata has jokingly told Bruno Fernandes he ‘will have to be patient’ in his pursuit of the No 8 shirt at Manchester United.

The Spaniard agreed a one-year contract extension with the Red Devils earlier this month after his previous deal expired at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old’s ninth season at the club will likely see him hold onto the squad number, much to the disappointment of Fernandes who has been eyeing his favourite shirt, which he previously wore at Sporting CP.

Juan Mata (left) has told Bruno Fernandes (right) ‘he will have to be patient’ for No 8 shirt

But Mata confirmed he has no plans to give up the squad number, telling his team-mate he will have to wait slightly longer to convert from 18 to eight.

After he was asked how long Fernandes might have to wait before making the switch, Mata laughed: ‘At least another year! 

‘I think he’s happy that I’m staying and I’m happy to be playing with him. We’ve got a great relationship since he came and, of course, he’s been brilliant for us on and off the pitch. He’s also a great guy and an example for others.

The 33-year-old has penned a one-year contract extension with Manchester United

‘Unfortunately for him, he will have to be patient!’ 

After United announced his extension, Fernandes posted a cheeky message on social media saying: ‘I guess I’ll have to wait for the number 8 another year… 

‘Congrats brother!! Well deserved! An example and an inspiration on and off the pitch’

Mata’s (right) new deal means Fernandes will have to continue to wait for the No. 8 shirt

The Spaniard arrived from Chelsea under David Moyes in 2014 and enjoyed a successful period at Old Trafford winning the Europa League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Community Shield.

He has been a peripheral figure more recently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after only 18 appearances last season but appears to be a popular man in the dressing room.

In total, Mata has made made 273 appearances for the club, scoring 51 goals in all competitions. 

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