Bruno Fernandes Could Be Blacklisted If His Agent Breaks Transfer Rule:
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes could face being blacklisted from transferring to Saudi Arabia’s top league if his agent violates negotiation rules.
Recent reports indicate Saudi clubs are prepared to offer around €100 million (£87 million) to acquire Fernandes as early as this summer transfer window. Losing their club captain would be a major setback for United, the massive fee would help ease their financial fair play worries, but it would still be a bitter pill to swallow.
According to Spanish Soccer Media Fichajes, Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Al Ittihad are the Saudi teams most heavily linked with making a ‘super offer’ for the 28-year-old Portuguese international. Fernandes has emerged as one of United’s most important players since joining in January 2020, with his creativity and goalscoring ability from midfield.
But Saudi Professional League rules may complicate Fernandes’ potential transfer to the Saudi Leagues. According to July reports by the New York Times, players earning over $3 million per year need approval from the league to join Saudi teams. More critically, players and agents are strictly prohibited from negotiating with multiple clubs in order to leverage a higher salary. Any violators would face being immediately blacklisted from finalizing a transfer to the league.
Losing Fernandes would leave a massive void in United’s midfield. But the huge salary packages on offer from Saudi teams, reported to be worth around £7 million per year after tax, could tempt the star away from Old Trafford. His transfer likely hinges on carefully following league rules against prohibited negotiation tactics.
Fernandes has emerged as one of United’s most vital players since arriving in 2020, taking over Paul Pogba’s role as the central midfield linchpin and also taking over the captain’s armband from Harry Maguire this season. His 13 goals in all competitions are second only to Marcus Rashford for United this campaign.
According to the Daily Mail, United value Fernandes at over £100 million and would demand a fee close to the Premier League record £89 million they paid for Paul Pogba in 2016. This could make a deal prohibitive for potential Saudi buyers.
Fernandes signed a contract extension in April 2022 tying him to United through 2026, with the option to extend for a further year. This puts the club in a strong negotiating position should serious offers emerge.
As reported by The Athletic, United’s new CEO Richard Arnold has indicated the club will take a hardline stance on outgoing transfers after years of high-profile departures. This could mean refusing to sell Fernandes unless an exorbitant fee is met.
With the league’s reputation growing after the high-profile signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi clubs have demonstrated a willingness to pay premium prices to land stars in their prime like Fernandes. But United’s asking price and negotiation stance could dampen a potential deal.