Pep Guardiola was left confused by reports linking Bruno Fernandes with a move to Manchester City last summer. That’s because the Premier League champions had no interest in adding the Portugal international to their first-team squad before the 2019/20 campaign. A deal for Rodri, viewed as the long-term successor to Fernandinho, was the priority for Guardiola.
Manchester United wanted Fernandes snapped up from Sporting Lisbon last summer but feared their name was being used to create a bidding war, according to the Evening Standard.
The transfer deadline passed without Old Trafford bosses landing their man but they managed to right that wrong by securing his signature in January.
Guardiola offered a professional response when asked about Fernandes last month.
“I said many times it looks like we are linked with a thousand million players every month,” said the City manager.
“I don’t know if the agents want to create something to do that.
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“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.”
Fernandes hit the ground running following his switch from Sporting for an initial £47million fee.
The 25-year-old chipped in with three goals and four assist in nine appearances before professional football ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He has quickly become a fan favourite, scooping the Premier League Player of the Month for February.
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Fernandes further endeared himself to United fans by gesturing to Guardiola to ‘shush’ in City’s 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford earlier this month.
He now appears to regret his action, which went viral on social media, however.
“As everything in life, nothing is defined by what a person has or had and won,” said Fernandes.
“I condemn myself because the best response would have been to remain silent and he would have been left to speak alone.”
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