Man Utd complete first summer sale as defender seals exit

Manchester United have bid farewell to left-back Alvaro Fernandez, who has joined Benfica on a permanent basis.

The Red Devils are expected to entertain offers for a significant number of players in their squad as they seek to revamp the dressing room and fund a shopping spree for Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first summer in charge of the team.

The first player out the door is Fernandez, who has seen his loan with Benfica turned into a permanent deal.

Fernandez, 21, spent the first half of the season with Granada in La Liga before linking up with Benfica, where he impressed enough over 16 appearances to earn a permanent move to the club.

Benfica confirmed they triggered the purchase clause in Fernandez’s contract, which reports suggest was worth around £5m.

Alvaro Fernandez, Alejandro Garnacho

Fernandez played alongside Alejandro Garnacho in United’s academy / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

“I’m very happy for the trust they’ve placed in me,” Fernandez said after completing his permanent switch to Benfica. “I’ve wanted to keep wearing this jersey ever since I arrived, and I want to say thank you next year by fighting for every possible title with the support of the fans. Come on, Benfica!”

A United statement added: “Everyone at United would like to wish Alvaro all the best of luck in the future and will be keeping an eye on his progress.”

Fernandez leaves United having failed to make a single first-team appearance across four years on the books.

He joined on a free transfer from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020 and impressed in United’s various youth sides before spending 2022/23 on loan in the Championship with Preston North End, where he won the club’s Young Player of the Season award.


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