There is plenty of uncertainty at Manchester United at the minute. One area that fans appeared happy to have nailed down was the new contract given to playmaker Bruno Fernandes on Friday.
Fernandes has been one of the few success stories at United in recent years. Since joining from Sporting CP in January 2020, he has taken over as the club's star player.
With uncertainty over the club's new manager for next season, and the future of Paul Pogba, the new deal for Fernandes seems like good news.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has other ideas, however. Appearing on Soccer Saturday, Merson said he was "flabbergasted" by the decision to give Fernandes a new deal before a new manager has been found.
Bruno Fernandes: New deal for Portuguese midfielder questioned by Paul Merson
It is still unknown who will take charge of Manchester United for 2022-23 and onwards. Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino are the current frontrunners. Ralf Rangnick is the current interim boss at Old Trafford, and will give his input into his successor, as he moves into a consultancy role.
Paul Merson appeared on Soccer Saturday this weekend, and questioned the decision to give Bruno Fernandes a new contract at the club when it is unknown who will be taking charge of the team for the coming years.
"I'm flabbergasted if I'm being honest" 😮
Paul Merson is shocked that Manchester United have signed Bruno Fernandes to a new long-term deal 📝 pic.twitter.com/rzZlscmXZe
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 2, 2022
Fernandes' new contract reportedly puts him third on the wage bill standings at Manchester United, behind David de Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Merson could not understand the decision, which he described as "off the cuff". He said that Fernandes' infamous "moaning" on the pitch may not endear him to potential candidates for the Manchester United manager job.
Unbelievable. I'm flabbergasted, if I'm being honest.
You give a four year contract extension, more money, whatever it may be...a manager who comes in might not like Fernandes! He might not like him throwing his hands up and moaning at everybody when he doesn't get the ball.
It might be the lad at Ajax [Ten Hag] - he might have someone else who he wants to bring in to play his way.
I'm completely and utterly shocked. I cannot believe what's happening. Everything is just being done off the cuff. It's been done off the cuff for the last couple of years at Man United - this is a prime example.
Unless they have a manager sorted - which I doubt they have - who's said "I want Fernandes, sign him up." I'm very shocked.
You have to like that kind of player, you have to really like him.
It's a bit of a shambles at the moment.
Fernandes has experienced something of a return to form in recent weeks, having struggled during the early winter months. He sits as United's second top scorer this season behind Cristiano Ronaldo, and has marked a respectable 15 goals and assists in the Premier League this season.
He has undeniably been a success at Manchester United, but time will tell if the new manager at the club is a fan of Bruno Fernandes.