Manchester United opened talks with Bruno Fernandes about a new bumper contract just ten months after he joined the club.
The Portuguese international has transformed United since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon last January and is currently regarded as one of the best players in the Premier League.
According to The Athletic, sources say United quickly recognised what an asset they had acquired and have already been negotiating for three months a new contract even though the 26-year-old is already contracted to the club for five more years.
‘The speed at which talks began over a new contract is startling,’ The Athletic says.
‘Sources say the subject was first broached by United in November, just 10 months into a deal that does not expire until 2025 and contains an option for a further year.
‘Such has been the impact of the “Portuguese Magnifico”, a recalibration of his worth to the club quickly became necessary.
‘Fernandes joined on a salary worth around £100,000 per week, which was double his pay packet at Sporting but middling when it comes to a club as wealthy as United. Several team-mates earn higher wages, with David de Gea topping the list at more than £375,000 per week.’
The fact that David de Gea earns almost four times what Fernandes does is an anomaly, but it seems unlikely that the Portuguese player would be knocking on executive vice chairman Ed Woodward’s door at this stage, demanding a better salary.
It also seems unlikely that the normally penny-pinching Woodward would be rushing to pay out millions extra to a player he has tied down for five more years.
However, The Athletic is normally a very reliable source so it could be that the decision has been made to ensure that Fernandes’ head is not turned by the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona and that he commits his entire playing career to Manchester United.