Ever since signing for Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon in the January Transfer window of 2020 for a fee reportedly worth up to €80 million (£67.6 million), Bruno Fernandes has been a constant talismanic figure for the Red Devils.
The Portuguese midfielder was once again in fine form over the weekend, scoring a controversial equaliser during the 2-1 victory against Manchester City in the Derby to take United within a point of their noisy neighbours.
It has been a season of redemption for the Red Devils after a campaign to forget last term as they find themselves involved in the running for four major honours under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Fernandes has been instrumental in that run of form, captaining the side in the absence of regular skipper Harry Maguire, and contributing greatly to its successes with his boundless energy and telling passes.
The Maradona of Novara had surprised many by signing a new four-year contract in April, 2022, at a time when United were in absolute turmoil under interim manager Ralf Rangnick but in a recent interview to the Athletic, the 28 year old admitted that he sought reassurances from football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher before he put pen to paper on the new deal.
Fernandes stated: “I always said, it’s such an honour and a dream come true (to play for this club). But obviously 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.
“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 decides that 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 there a plan, is there a future?
“This was before I signed my new contract because I said to the club, obviously money is important, no one can hide that, it’s always important to earn more and more and more in football or life, whatever job you do, you always want to have the best for yourself.
“But at that time, for me 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.
“What does the club want?
“The history of this club, the quality of the players we have, it demands more than just being here and fighting for fourth place. It demands trophies, it demands at least fighting for trophies.
“And the club has said they have a plan, this is what they want, we agree with you.
“(I spoke to) John (Murtough) and Darren Fletcher because they’re the people who are closer for the players to talk to.”
Manchester United will have their work cut out for themselves as tricky fixtures against Arsenal and Crystal Palace line up in quick succession, but with their Portuguese Magnifico in fine fettle, they may yet emerge as serious title contenders come the end of the week.