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Man Utd Initiate Summer Sales with Spanish Starlet leaving for Benfica

Manchester United has kickstarted their summer overhaul with the departure of Spanish defender Alvaro Fernandez to Benfica following a successful loan spell in Portugal


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Manchester United has kickstarted their summer overhaul with the departure of Spanish defender Alvaro Fernandez to Benfica following a successful loan spell in Portugal.

The 21-year-old left-back, who arrived at United’s academy from Real Madrid in 2020, didn’t manage to break into the first team at Old Trafford.

Instead, he gained valuable experience on loan at Preston North End, Granada, and finally Benfica.

Despite not making a senior appearance for United, Fernandez showcased his potential during his loan stint at Benfica, making 16 appearances for the Portuguese side.

His performances triggered a mandatory buy clause in his loan agreement, reportedly valued at around €6 million (£5.1m).

Fernandez’s journey saw him on the bench for United’s Premier League match against Nottingham Forest earlier in the season before being loaned out to Granada on deadline day.

After a productive spell in Spain with 14 outings, United opted to recall him and subsequently facilitated his move to Benfica.

There, Fernandez played a role in helping Roger Schmidt’s team secure a second-place finish in the league, trailing champions Sporting Lisbon by 10 points.

While United fans had high hopes for Fernandez, particularly after his recognition with awards such as the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year and Preston’s Young Player of the Year, he faced tough competition for the left-back position with Luke Shaw as the preferred choice and the arrival of Tyrell Malacia under manager Erik ten Hag.

Despite an injury crisis in the position during the season, Fernandez’s loan status prevented him from making an impact at United.

His departure marks the beginning of what is expected to be a summer of significant changes at the club, as co-owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS look to raise funds for new signings.

With reports indicating a limited transfer budget for United, the pressure is on Ten Hag, whose future at the club remains uncertain following a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

While the recent FA Cup triumph over Manchester City secured European football for United next season, the club’s owners are considering alternative managerial options, including talks with candidates such as Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Kieran McKenna, and Thomas Frank.

This article was updated 4 weeks ago

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