Man Utd reacts Erik ten Hag reacts to Bruno Fernandes transfer claims | Football

Bruno Fernandes is tied into a contract at United until 2026 (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag says he ‘absolutely’ wants to keep hold of Bruno Fernandes beyond the summer, insisting the midfielder’s recent comments about leaving Manchester United were ‘taken out of context’.

Fernandes took over the captain’s armband from Harry Maguire at United last summer and is the club’s top scorer this season, netting 15 times in all competitions, while also registering 11 assists.

The former Sporting star – who has emerged as an injury doubt for United’s clash with Crystal Palace this evening – still has over two years remaining on his current contract with the Red Devils.

However, a recent interview in Fernandes’ native Portugal sparked fears that the 29-year-old could be considering bringing an end to his stay at Old Trafford, with the player said to have rejected an astronomical offer from Saudi Pro League outfit Al Hilal in January.

‘I’m not thinking about other things at the moment,’ Fernandes told DAZN Portugal when quizzed on his plans for the future last week.

‘Obviously, it doesn’t just depend on me, does it? A player always has to want to be here, but at the same time, you have to want him to stay.

‘At the moment, I feel there’s that on both sides.’

Bruno Fernandes looks on in Manchester United training

The Portugal midfielder reportedly rejected an offer from the Saudi Pro League in January (Picture: Getty)

Fernandes was adamant that he remained focussed on purely footballing matters for the time being, though hinted a move away from the Theatre of Dreams could enter his thinking once this summer’s European Championships are over.

‘We could still end the season by winning the FA Cup. After that, we have a very important Euros coming up,’ he added.

‘So, if you want me to be very honest, if I have to think about not continuing in the Premier League, it won’t be until after the Euros because nothing will be able to take my focus away from the FA Cup final and the Euros, as there’s nothing more important than that at the moment.’

Ten Hag could be without Fernandes at Selhurst Park this evening (Picture: Getty)

Addressing Fernandes’ comments ahead of United’s trip to Selhurst Park, Ten Hag made it abundantly clear that he had no interest in entertaining possible offers for his skipper anytime soon.

Asked whether he wishes to hold onto Fernandes beyond the end of the season, the Dutchman replied: ‘Absolutely, but that [interview] was also taken out of context.

‘I haven’t even asked [Fernandes about the context] because I know he is Manchester United and I think he is very happy to be here.’

Pressed on whether Fernandes is likely to see out the remainder of his contract in Manchester, Ten Hag replied: ‘Definitely.’

Fernandes is United’s top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions this term (Picture: Getty)

Ten Hag stressed that it was ‘important’ to have Fernandes back fit and available, calling the Portugal a ‘real fighter’ and a ‘very good example’ for the rest of the squad.

‘It is absolutely important [to have him available],’ the United manager added.

‘Taking responsibility is one of the biggest assets nowadays top footballers have to show and to deliver. Bruno always delivers.

‘He is always available, he never misses a game and always plays in a good level and always giving energy to a team and such assets are necessary to be successful.

‘It is also a very subjective criteria [to be fit]. One is sure: Bruno is a real fighter. Last year for instance, when we played Brighton in the semi-final, he played with an ankle that was so thick, unbelievable. He couldn’t run but he was still on the pitch.

‘What is fair enough is that Bruno is a very good example for many other players.’

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