Bruno Fernandes has been training with boyhood club Boavista in his native Portugal as he steps up his pre-season fitness regime.
Fernandes, 26, has been granted an extended break by Manchester United following his involvement in Euro 2020 with Portugal, in which Fernando Santos’ men were eliminated from the Round of 16 to Belgium, conceding their title in the process.
However, instead of lounging about or kicking his feet up, Fernandes has been spending his summer putting in the hard yards with Boavista, whom he spent the majority of his youth career with, before leaving for Novara in Italy in 2012.
The Porto-based club posted a video on their official Twitter account showing Fernandes hard a work back at his ‘first love’, before promising Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that his talismanic playmaker will return to England for the 2021/22 season “even better”.
The caption read: “Bruno Fernandes + Boavista FC – There is no love like the first.
“Man Utd don’t worry, he will arrive even better!”
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Não há amor como o primeiro ??@B_Fernandes8 treinou no Bessa e fez questão de deixar uma mensagem aos boavisteiros! ?@ManUtd don't worry, he will arrive even better! ??#BoavistaFC #BrunoFernandes #ManUtd pic.twitter.com/G1J1LJtIFk
— Boavista FC (@boavistaoficial) July 17, 2021
Fernandes also took the opportunity to speak to the fans of Boavista, leaving a heartfelt message in which he described the Estadio do Bessa (Boavista’s stadium) as his “home”, before wishing the The Chequered Ones good luck for the season ahead.
Fernandes said: “Boavista fans, it’s always a pleasure to be here. I’m going back to the home where I grew up and where I have great memories.
“I would like to leave you a word for next season, wish you all the best and that this championship is better than last year. May the best of last year be the worst of this year and that everything runs smoothly.”
Man Utd’s pre-season so far, and comments on Jesse Lingard
Man Utd got their pre-season underway on Sunday, with Solskjaer pitting his tactical wits against Wayne Rooney’s Derby County, with the 13-time Premier League champions triumphing on the day 2-1 thanks to goals from Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri.
There was a notable absence of key stars following involvements in Euro 2020 and Copa America, but the likes of Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles were all afforded run outs. There was even a second-half outing from Jesse Lingard.
The rejuvenated midfielder returns to Old Trafford following his highly-succesful loan spell at West Ham in the second half of last season, in which he scored nine goals and registered four assists in just 16 Premier League games to fire David Moyes’ side into the Europa League.
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His move to London was largely brought about after Fernandes’ arrival pushed him down the pecking order, but the 28-year-old has not been deterred by the competition, returning to the North West reportedly ready to fight for his place, despite the impending arrival of Jadon Sancho as well.
It is thought West Ham have baulked at the club’s £30m asking price, while Solskjaer mentioned after the win over Derby that Lingard is very much in his “plans” for the 2021/22 season, despite the depth of talent he has in the attacking area.
Solskjaer said: “He was one of the positives. He’s a Manchester United player and he wants to fight for his place.
“He’s come back bright, confident and with lots of energy. I think everyone saw what he did at the end of last season with West Ham.
“He’s still in my plans. I expect him at Man Utd at the start of the season.”