Manchester United should have no fear about signing Sporting Lisbon schemer Bruno Fernandes, if in fact they do move for him — says former defender Paul Parker.
Fernandes has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past week, although there is some doubt over the legitimacy of the rumours considering they have mostly emanated from foreign press. The club appear to have briefed a couple of journalists but it could quite easily be conjecture.
There is reason to have caution; Fernandes was touted around English clubs last summer with Sporting apparently keen to cash in, and although Spurs held a genuine interest, United were not involved in any negotiation.
Fernandes’ choice to return to the Portuguese league after a spell in Italy has led to some doubt over his capability to thrive on a stage like the one United would provide, whilst at the age of 25, one would consider Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be looking at an established world class international.
However, Parker – who himself left lower league football at a relatively late age after starting at Fulham – feels that neither his age or the rumoured transfer fee should be considered a red flag.
“I wouldn’t have any concerns over him playing in Portugal at his age,” Parker said, exclusively on this week’s WeAreTheBusbyBoys podcast. “People say you can’t put the words £50m and bargain together, but when you’re talking about James Maddison costing near or over £120m, and the fact he will have to hit the ground running, you have to reconsider. You’re getting a player who is technically better than any other United player in that area, other than arguably Mata.”
Elsewhere, Parker believes the club should acquiesce to Ashley Young’s request to leave this month and sign for Inter Milan. Young has reportedly agreed terms with the Italian club with his contract up at the end of the season, but has expressed his desire to leave immediately, and was left out of the squad on Saturday.
“If he wants to move, if it’s for the money or the lifestyle, or if he wants a chance at winning a league title medal, then you’re going to have to just let him go,” says Parker. “You don’t want a player moping around and becoming a sour apple. It’s human nature, you can’t blame him for it, if you feel someone is depriving you of something you want to do, you are unhappy. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think you have to let him go.”