Pep Guardiola has insisted that Manchester City were never in the race to sign Bruno Fernandes, the midfielder now expertly plying his trade for City’s Manchester rivals, United.
The Portugal international made the £47 million move from Sporting Lisbon towards the end of the January transfer window, and has immediately made himself the heartbeat of the Manchester United side, slotting in seamlessly to the pace of the Premier League.
The 25-year-old has already scored three times for Manchester United and provided two assists, Fernandes’ arrival coinciding with a nine-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Before Fernandes made the move to United, he was also linked with a possible move to the blue side of Manchester, though speaking ahead of this weekend’s derby at Old Trafford, Pep Guardiola has insisted his side were never in talks.
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“I said many times it looks like we are linked with a thousand million players every month,” the Man City boss said at his pre-match press conference. “I don’t know if the agents want to create something to do that.
“But I think the club was not in talks with his agent about this player, but they link this guy and a thousand million more.”
Following United’s 5-0 win over Brugge last week, Paul Scholes likened Fernandes to Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne, and Guardiola admitted that he is an ‘exceptional player’.
“I don’t know what it means ‘my type of player’. I like defenders too and good headers,” he added.
“I don’t believe too much that these players are perfect for this team and manager. But I think he is an exceptional player and that is why Man United bought him.”