Man Utd only made Bruno Fernandes transfer bid after enquiry for alternative knocked back

Man Utd: Solskjaer on Fernandes’ practice routine

Manchester United had made Jack Grealish their top target ahead of Bruno Fernandes last season. Aston Villa knocked back the Red Devils, though, when they came sniffing – which ultimately led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making a move for the Portuguese midfielder.

United only snapped up Fernandes after it became clear they would not sign Grealish.

It went ahead last season, ahead of the January transfer window, with Solskjaer a huge fan of the Villa captain.

The Englishman almost single-handedly kept Dean Smith’s side up last year in the Premier League and have made huge strides since then, even challenging for a European spot.

But it could have been very different had Villa let Grealish leave, which was Solskjaer’s idea.

According to ESPN, the Norweigan asked United transfer chiefs Ed Woodward and Matt Judge to make enquiries over Grealish.

The door was firmly shut in their faces, though, which led to the club making Fernandes, then at Sporting Lisbon, their top target.

The midfielder signed for a fee of around £47.5m and the rest is history.

Fernandes arrived at a perfect moment for Solskjaer, catapulting the team to third in the Premier League.

And he has continued that form into this campaign, with an incredible 11 goals and seven assists in 17 league matches.

United sit second in the table and are locked in an unlikely title battle with Manchester City as a result.

Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has insisted that the Red Devils are too reliant on the form of Fernandes.

“United are very reliant on Bruno Fernandes, though. If he’s out for any reason this season, they’ll struggle,” he said.

“That’s why I don’t think United will be up there in May, because they’re too dependent on that one player.

“Man City and Liverpool have so many players who can carry the team; United only have one.”

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