Paul Merson found Manchester United’s decision to extend Bruno Fernandes’s deal a ‘bit strange’, stating they should have done it after appointing a new manager.
Manchester United are yet to decide on a new manager to lead them into the future. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick will be stepping down in June, and there have been a few high-profile candidates hopeful of securing the Old Trafford hot seat.
Erik ten Hag remains the favourite to take over. although nothing is finalised yet. Reports insist that Manchester United are already discussing the financial details to sign the Dutchman with Ajax, and the 52-year-old could be appointed in the near future.
Manchester United did make a positive announcement recently after Bruno Fernandes signed a new four-year deal with the club. The Portuguese international will be on par with some of the highest-paid players at the club, although Cristiano Ronaldo remains miles ahead of the rest.
Fernandes will earn similar wages to David de Gea and Paul Pogba, representing a very lucrative contract for the playmaker. But Paul Merson has questioned the timing of the 27-year-old’s contract extension.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 1, 2022
The former Arsenal midfielder was puzzled by Manchester United’s decision to hand Fernandes a new deal. As quoted by Manchester Evening News, Merson suggested the club should have appointed a manager first, then extended the playmaker’s contract.
Merson said, “Bruno Fernandes’ contract situation is an interesting one and pretty much sums up where Manchester United are as a club at the moment. What if a new manager comes in and doesn’t quite fancy Fernandes because there’s every chance coaches won’t like the way he throws his hands up in frustration or his style of play.”
“He’s a good player, and I like him, but he hasn’t set the world alight at Manchester United this season. I just find it a bit strange that they’ve given a massive long-term contract to a player when they haven’t sorted out their managerial dilemma, it’s a big call by the club.”
Bruno Fernandes has endured a somewhat difficult season, but he has still managed to score nine goals in the top flight. However, he certainly lags on the statistics compared to the previous campaigns. What Merson says makes sense, as the new manager may not prefer to play a system that involves a playmaker like Fernandes at the centre of his plans.