MX23RW : Friday, January 24 07:16:51| >> :600:902671:902671:

How Manchester United could line up with Bruno Fernandes

With Bruno Fernandes being heavily linked with a switch to Manchester United, Sports Mole predicts where the Portuguese could feature in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans.

Manchester United are reportedly on the brink of finally completing a deal for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes.

Despite frequent speculation during the summer window, United failed to push through the transfer of the playmaker, who has been keen to move to a bigger club.

However, with the 25-year-old having contributed 13 goals and 10 assists in Portugal's top flight and the Europa League during the first half of the campaign, United have seemingly made their move.

Should a deal be finalised before the end of January, it throws up question marks over where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will use the Portugal international in his first XI.

With that in mind, Sports Mole predicts how United could line up if they are able to complete an alleged £65m deal.



MNUXI with Bruno Fernandes.

During his 23 appearances this season, Fernandes has mainly been used in central midfield or in a more advanced role closer to the main striker.

With Solskjaer having to contend with issues in both positions, the versatility of Fernandes could prove crucial to the Norwegian during the second half of the campaign.

When having each of his midfielders at his disposal, Solskjaer will likely use Fernandes further forward, given that the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira have struggled to weigh in with goals and assists.

However, as a result of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both being sidelined through injury, the current circumstances may dictate that Fernandes is used in a midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Fred.

While much would depend on United's opponents, that would likely be Solskjaer's strategy should Fernandes be signed during the next 48 hours, several days before the trip to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

Against lower-end Premier League teams, especially at home, Fernandes could also line up in a midfield two, providing that either McTominay or Matic are used alongside him.

Fernandes is capable of playing on either flank, although Solskjaer's style of play and preference for pace out wide makes an outing in that area more unlikely.

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Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring for Sporting Lisbon in their Europa League clash with Villarreal in February 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

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