Man Utd to sell Bruno Fernandes and buy Michael Olise to better serve their strikers?

Editor F365
Bruno Fernandes, Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich have held talks with Bruno Fernandes' representatives amid interest from Barcelona

Should Man Utd sell Bruno Fernandes? It would not be the worst idea. And one fan has a list of transfers he wants for United…

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Bruno Fernandes to Bayern? That might work for Man Utd…
I know it’s unlikely to happen, but if Bruno heads to the Kompany revolution as has been mooted, I won’t be too upset.

Yes, he’s seemed to carry the side at times, but also not. He works hard, he can pick a long pass nicely, has been core to some of our best play and occasionally hits the target with shots… but in the time he’s been here, the team rarely functions brilliantly with him unless he’s having a great game.

There’s lots of possible reasons for this, but I believe that a significant part of that is because others let him pick up the slack to create something and hope he does something special. Of course, when he’s been absent, the team have been clueless as they’ve gotten used to relying on him (this blows my mind, but I’ve seen it time and again over the decades) and also we’ve not had the natural replacement available either.

It’s also in part that he is everywhere, and not always where you want him (e.g. central behind the striker). His free role that sees him appear on the wing or deep – likely driven by him rather than purely tactical as he’s always done that – can make things tricky. It breaks down patterns of play. I understand why he does it – there’s been precious little creativity elsewhere in midfield (McFred was not a creative force). But now we have the likes of Mainoo and, in the last few games, Amrabat who offer a lot more.

Additionally, we signed a lad called Mason Mount, which always seemed a strange signing but I suspect was done with a mind towards Bruno departing. Personally, I think Mount is the better player and will knit the attack together more effectively.

Whatever changes come ahead of next year, we need to feed our striker, and Bruno doesn’t have a great record for that.

The biggest loss would be the loss of the captain, and with so much change and so few leaders, that could be tricky. Just as long as it doesn’t default to Maguire and goes to Martinez or – dare I say it – Rashford (something I think that would galvanise him) then we’ll be fine.


What Man Utd need now…
United last season conceded too many, and scored too few. With injured players returning, the former should be semi-fixed, which is why I feel the latter should be the biggest priority, followed by defense and then midfield.

Olise has a release clause of 60M, he would be the perfect signing. He would add goals, progress the ball, and could carry some of the creative burden with Fernandes. His crossing and passing ability would do wonders for Hojlund.

Sesko apparently has a release clause at 55M, and has been linked with United both before and since his move to RB Leipzig. There will be stiff competition, but his finishing, aerial ability and dribbling qualities would all be perfect to share the work load with Hojlund. That’s 115M down and the attack sorted. Greenwood and Sancho sales could hopefully cover half of that.

I’m on the boat with fans who think we need two CBs this summer. Braithwaite and one of Todibo/Chalobah/Diomande would fit the bill, but would together cost about 100M. Maatsen of Chelsea seems good value at about 30M, as does Kerkez of Bournemouth. That’s 130M to revitalize the defense. I’d keep AWB and Evans, but ok with Lindelof or Maguire, and Malacia leaving if they could recoup 25M.

The midfield needs an Eriksen replacement who can control the midfield, and they don’t come cheap. The lack of control we have without that type of player concerns me. Xavi Simons is apparently available for loan from PSG, and was chased by United last year, and could do a job in that Eriksen role. Fofana of Monaco would apparently cost 25M, similar to what we hope to get from Saudi for Cas. I’d keep Amrabat as he’s decent value given his end of year performances. If United can get 50M from Cas, McT and Eriksen, that would be good business.

Hannibal, Pellistri, Williams, and Donny will all surely leave, and Fernandez is gone. 25M total for all five of them would be bad, but better than nothing. Antony won’t generate major funds but if they get Olise, a loan to refresh elsewhere would make sense for all parties.

So that could be Sesko(55), Olise(60), Simons(loan), Fofana(25), Braithwaite(60), Todibo(40) and Kerkez(30) in for about 270M. This seems like a lot, but almost all of these are essential to me and at good value, especially with outgoings.

Martial(0), Sancho(40), Greenwood(30), Pellistri(7), Cas(20), Eriksen(5)McT(25), Hannibal(7), Donny(7), Varane(0), Lindelof(15), Malacia(10), Williams(4) and Fernandez(5) all out for about 170M. This is also a lot, but between contracts expired and loan returns, many inevitably will be gone, and others should be sold while we can with contracts expiring, while others are no longer fit for service.

All-in-all, that’s roughly 100M spent, with all signings matching the Ineos 5 points. It revitalizes the squad and gets rid of the dead wood. At a bare minimum one CB, CM and CF are essential, but United would be foolish to not sign a LB and Olise at 60M.

United typically spend more when they are out of the CL, and with so many departures may be forced to do the same this year. There is no way back for some players and for once, they have players with market value to sell. I suspect they have 200M to spend but even if it’s half that, they should be able to do some serious business.

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Fanmail for Robert in Marbella
Every time English cubs underperform in Europe, we get the same response. “SEE! The English league ISN’T the best league in the world.” It’s like the climate deniers who shout “It’s SNOWING. What does that tell you about global warming?” In the same way that weather isn’t the same as climate, one season doesn’t tell the whole story.

Firstly, let’s deal with the weird accusation that F365 focuses too much on English football. Perhaps Robert is unaware, but F365 is actually an English website. So they focus on English football. It would be pretty bizarre to say Marca writes too much about Spanish football. Same logic here.

If you’re judging a league on European performances, then there is only one winner. England is comfortably top of the Uefa coefficient taken over the last 5 years. Spain isn’t even second, it’s third. England has 3 different Champions League winners in the past 6 years, and 4 different finalists. Spain has 1. England has 4 different winners this decade, and three of those have won it twice. Spain has 2. And to add to that fact, Spain has only 2 different winners ever. Only Real Madrid and Barcelona have won Europe’s top prize. No one else.

And that’s the real difference. Spain may have the best team, and that team may have won the main prize a lot, but England has more teams that are capable of competing in the competition. You can bang on about Spanish teams winning the Europa League, but when it comes to Europe’s top tournament there is a broader competition from England’s teams.

When another team tops the 5-year Uefa rankings, you can dismiss the quality of the Premier League. Until then, it’s just statistically the best.
Mike, LFC, Dubai


…I’d bet almost everyone who grew up in a small town had the displeasure of knowing someone like Robert. Everything about where you come from is terrible, anyone who stays there or says different isn’t worth listening to. Surely there’s a La Liga-focused Spanish publication you can focus your time on instead? Unless of course, the full extent of your Spanish was in the brackets of your mail.

Onto the football, you look at managers in the leagues and say that’s why England is in decline. Especially since our best two managers are now Spaniards, and one is likely going in the next year or 2.

Meanwhile, is that an Italian leading Madrid to unprecedented European heights? With a year left on his contract no less. So is La Liga inferior to Serie A? How many top tier managers are currently employed in Spain? If we include Simeone it’s 2, and neither of them are Spanish. Hmm.

Ok let’s look at the second placed team in the league, as you pointed out Arsenal got ‘schooled’ (nobody has ever been on the end of a 1-0 schooling) by Germany’s 3rd best team. Ignore the fact that Leverkusen and Stuttgart both had exceptional seasons, Bayern have finished about on par with their usual points tally and still pushed Madrid further than most, they’re not suddenly awful at football because they finished this year without any pots. I like the logic of judging a league on its second best team though. Barcelona finished trophyless and with fewer points than Arsenal. So Manchester United are better than Barcelona right now I suppose, and so are Arsenal despite the fact Arsenal are awful cos they’re English.

Give it a rest Roberto, just enjoy the weather and try not to be such an insufferable tosspot.
Manjo, LFC (absolutely fuming that London Live doesn’t keep me up to date with news in my local Midlands area)

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…Nothing more pathetic than an Englishman moving to Spain (Marbella, of course) and then picking the most money grabbing, predetorial, Francista club to fawn over and try and preach back to English clubs, like Real haven’t been distorting Europeam football since they were a fascist’s plaything in the 50’s.

You’re an embarrassment Robert.
Tom, Walthamstow


…Have an inkling a certain mailbox post will elicit several more responses here than just my own, but also wondering whether “Rob from Marbella” is actually a pseudonym for Dan Thomas of ESPN. If you’re lucky enough to have access (or questionable inclination to tune in) to ESPNFC on these gilded shores you’ll no doubt be familiar with Thomas, another Briton who glory-hunts in shamelessly repping Madrid (while making daily sartorial choices of a full technicolor 1980s Sonny Crockett… a dated reference to be sure, but also maybe the only accurate one).

A Liverpool-supporting Eric of Los Angeles is not here to say one must be from, or proximate to, a club’s postal code to meet the high bar standard of properly supporting them, but I do think it’s a bit rich to attack an English league, its supporters, and a website’s coverage of that league because one has suddenly discovered tapas and watched a few grainy Di Stefano YouTubes.

There was a fight last night between Zhang Zhiling and Deontay Wilder in Saudi, not the marquee prize fight in the division but big enough that people watched and cared for the outcome. Zhang won, and he won decisively with the pure power that is his calling card, swinging two cement blocks as they called it, generating torque from a tubby late-career George Foreman torso. Zhang wants a shot at Joshua, but he’s 41 years old. Why’d it take him so long ? Well, Zhang (if you couldn’t tell by now) is a Chinese fighter. It took him ages just to escape the entirety of Asia as a fight circuit, and by the time he began registering as a contending name in the West alongside the big fish in the ring, he was already on a downward slope and well off prime.

Any English side that wants to contend for the European Cup is probably escaping all of Asia as it were, fighting through treacle and the absolute gauntlet that is the English top flight. There’s no other league in the world that stacks levels of attrition this high, this slippery and this steep upon its upper tier. If Anthony Joshua had to fight 20 fights vs 20 prime fighters over 20 nights, I’d reckon even a lily white Rob from Marbella might have a title shot against him on night 21.
Eric, Los Angeles CA


The Slot machine
Arne Slot is the perfect Liverpool manager at this particular moment in time. First of all, he is a sub-editor’s wet dream with that surname. Second of all, he is a bald Dutchman, with no experience of the Premier League, which of courses juxtaposes beautifully with the current incumbent at Liverpool’s biggest (in historical, if not footballing terms at the moment) rival, and regardless if ETH stays or goes, the comparison is just perfect.

Thirdly, he is a typical Liverpool post-bootroom appointment – a foreign manager with a good reputation but who comes with obvious risks, especially as the ABL crowd are already polishing the poisoned chalice.

I have read through all his stats, they look encouraging, but we’ll really find out who he is when Liverpool have their first dodgy result and a camera is stuck in his face. Ten Hag has always been a rabbit in headlights, prone to saying stupid sh*t. Handling the pressure of managing an elite club in an elite league is half the battle.

I have no idea if he will work out – and neither do you – but in the soap opera that is football, he has been cast perfectly.
Mat (Disagree? Happy to exchange views. Snark? Blocked)


Raging at the media
In rooms across the land where Embassy and Rothman stains are visible and you can feel the psoriasis in the air, the esteemed soothsayers of the fourth estate are sharpening their quills to tell us what to expect this year whilst hastily rewriting their failed predictions for last. Picture John Hurt hunched over a computer – Man U will fall away this season – chocolate allocation will increase from 10 to 15 grams – Liverpool’s midfield rebuild will be exceptional.

These hacks, that we are forced to listen to or read, operate with impunity. They are answerable to no one. The only football person to challenged them was Gary Neville on Sunday Supplement. Even then it took a while for the columnists to dare to have him on and allow him to air rightful concerns.

As I do a lot of running I listen to a lot of football podcasts. I played an Athletic production about the 115 Man City charges that was so sycophantic it didn’t mention the possibility of guilt. It was amazing. I then heard a recent Times podcast talk about Gareth Southgate, where all contributors were pro Southgate! What’s the point in even having the podcast if everybody states Southgate is brilliant?

Even in this fine parish Will Ford seems to have an issue with Liverpool. I ask Will, did Liverpool steal your girlfriend? You used to have a “below the line feature” where the authors would answer questions or comments. Where has that gone?

Lazy journalistic comments are accepted as the norm, one that – in the words of Peter Griffin “grinds my gears” – is when a goal is disallowed early on and the game ends 1-1. People say, if that went in they would have won 2-1. Has nobody heard of cause and effect – people need to read, or watch the Apple TV show Dark Matter.

Awful punditry should also be a crime. In the Champions League final, Peter Dury had to reference 1999, stating that Man U’s ability to keep calm under pressure against Bayern Munich, was copied by Real Madrid on Saturday. I mean how idiotic is that statement.

And these people paid to ask important questions or tackle the big issues, seem to use this privilege to suck up and solidify their status rather than possibly annoy a manager. For example, the clamor to state that everything Pep Guardiola does is genius is getting to the point of ridiculous. Only The Guardian podcast has mentioned how he seems to have broken the will of Jack Grealish turning him from what was and exciting attacking winger into a walking dead style zombie who seems to have had all the flair beaten out of him. He now plays as if he is scared that if he dares take somebody on he will be punished by spending two games in the Gulag.

I know there is a lot of football, I know there is a lot of TV, I know there are a lot of column inches to fill, but please if you’ve got nothing good to say don’t say anything.

Kindest regards
Ian H