It has been amazing to see the impact Bruno Fernandes has had on Manchester United over the past few weeks.
Even the early comparisons to Paul Scholes look on point, with the new signing creating and scoring goals from midfield and turning United into a real force.
Fernandes also has a real winner’s mentality and has lifted the standards of the players around him.
United paid an initial £47 million to sign Fernandes, BBC Sport reported.
This has the potential to rise to £67.7 million if all clauses are met, The Times reported.
At this rate, if United had just paid the full figure outright, it would still look like a bargain. He’s been that good.
Here is a look at the incentives and how they are progressing a few weeks on from his move.
Sporting will earn €1 million (£840,000) for every five starts that Fernandes makes for United until he reaches 25 starts.
He is already on eight starts and this straightforward payment incentive is just a case of when, not if.
Sporting will earn another €5 million (£4.2 million) if United qualify once for the Champions League in the next five seasons.
United’s form has been so good that the team had a real chance of realising this ambition straight away. Obviously we do not know now how if, or when, this season will be completed, but this looks very likely in future seasons. Another formality.
The Portuguese club will earn another €5 million for each time that Fernandes wins the PFA Player of the Year award or makes the top three in the Ballon d’Or during his time at United. If this happens three times, United do not have to pay Sporting any more, so the limit for this add-on is €15 million (£12.7 million).
Player of the year awards are tough to predict, but Fernandes has a real chance next season.
In his first month at United he has won the Premier League Player of the Month. While this does not trigger any financial incentives, it shows he is having the desired impact.
If he can continue his form shown for United already, over next season, then he will become one of the favourites for the award.
The Ballon d’Or is a harder nut to crack. To be in with a chance, Fernandes needs to get United to the Champions League first.
He really needs to perform for Portugal too, to raise his profile even further.
Worth every penny
It’s probable United don’t end up paying quite the full £67.7 million for Fernandes, although could reach around £60 million.
While it’s not our money, and United have acted prudently to secure a low initial payment, Fernandes looks every inch a £67 million player.
His release clause at Sporting was actually £85 million. If United had simply paid that, and he came in and performed like this, there would be few arguments.
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