Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes is reportedly at the centre of a probe by FIFA into the transfer from Sporting Clube de Portugal to Manchester United in January 2020. The Portuguese club are struggling financially, despite the £46.5 million transfer earlier in the year. It is reported that they owe Sampdoria money from the deal.
Serie A side, Sampdoria, who Fernandes, 25, played for during the 2016/17 season, claim they are owed £4 million from the sale of the Portuguese magnifico during the January transfer window. It is suggested that the club has made FIFA aware of the situation and will be expecting them to ensure they get what they are owed, if it is correct.
In the summer of 2017, Fernandes was sold to Sporting by Sampdoria in a £7.5 million deal after what seemed like a successful season in which the player made a total of 35 appearances, scoring five goals and a further three assists whilst playing 1,845 minute of football. Of course, this was not the best performance by the player with more still to come.
In his first season at Sporting, Fernandes played a total of 56 times, playing in the Liga NOS, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, the Taça de Portugal Placard and the Allianz Cup. Fernandes ended the season scoring 16 goals, assisting 20 more in what was his best season yet. This is when the Portuguese club knew the player they had.
During the 2018/19 season, Fernandes played 53 times in the Liga NOS, Europa League, the Taça de Portugal Placard and the Allianz Cup – this time scoring a total of 32 goals, assisting 18 more which saw him involved in 50 goals in 53 appearances which is a good output by the midfielder. It was then that the rest of Europe started to notice the player.
Despite being linked to United during the last summer transfer window, Fernandes only made the move to United in January, initial for £46.5 million in a deal that could rise to around £67 million. It is widely known that Sporting have financial difficulties which have seemingly been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic which has stopped world football.
This was worsened with reports that a German bank, who Sporting did a deal with to release funds upfront for the transfer of Fernandes to United was blocked because of the financial uncertainty following the coronavirus pandemic. The issue here is unrelated to this as Sporting feel they owe nothing to Sampdoria.
When Fernandes moved to Sporting, he unilaterally ended his contract one year after moving to the club, in a similar situation which saw the likes of Rui Patricio, Daniel Podence and Gelson Martins after players were attacked by supporters in the training ground. Whilst the mentioned teammates left the club, Fernandes signed a new contract.
Sporting feel that as his original contract with them was ended by the player, they had signed him as a free agent, meaning any agreement in the original contract was now null and void. This obviously requires a look into the legality of what happened but Sporting feel they are right at this moment in time. I am sure we will see what happens.