Manchester United’s transfer market misery could be amplified as a deal for Sporting CP’s Bruno Fernandes hangs in the balance, not long after they reportedly opted not to sign Norwegian dynamo Erling Haaland.
The decision to not sign 19-year-old Haaland—if it was indeed their decision—looks to have backfired after he scored a hat-trick in his Borussia Dortmund debut on Saturday. The teenager came on at Augsburg with the Black and Yellows trailing 3-1, netting a 20-minute treble to help complete a 5-3 comeback.
Compounding Haaland's phenomenal debut was a mid-week loss for United at the hands of Burnley, in which the home team sorely missed a capable scorer, ultimately succumbing 2-0 to the Premier League's 13-th placed squad.
“There are other things, too, when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff. That has been touted around. We have to be in control.”
Raiola has expressed disappointment with United’s handling of Pogba, and he told La Repubblica (via Football Italia) in December he “wouldn’t bring anyone [more of his clients]” to the club.
To make matters worse, Haaland’s move to Germany has coincided with news that United striker Marcus Rashford could be out until April having suffered a double stress fracture in his back. The 22-year-old forward is his side’s top scorer with 19 goals in all competitions this season, but Rashford tweeted that he’ll be back before the end of the campaign:
The club’s protracted attempt to sign Fernandes, 25, also looks to be at risk after his agent, Jorge Mendes, told Sky Sports News Sporting have “spoken already with other clubs.” He suggested the player is certain to move in the summer if not this month.
It’s become a familiar chain of events for United, who continue to be charged some of the highest-premium prices in the transfer market. Many fans would push for the price to be paid to complete the signing of a player like Fernandes, who has had 79 direct goal involvements in 80 club appearances over the past two seasons (per Transfermarkt).