Bruno Fernandes believes improving Manchester United will be even better this season as the playmaker looks to bring silverware to a club making impressive moves in the transfer market.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finished as Premier League runners-up last term and fell to an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League final in Poland.
United are preparing for a new season in a stronger-looking position, having last week completed the £73million acquisition of long-standing target Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
The PA news agency understands that the Old Trafford giants have also had an offer accepted for standout Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
Further moves may be dependent on sales but Fernandes is excited by the quality at United’s disposal, positing on social media that he was “seeing good things coming in the new season”.
“It could be in my personal life, the good season,” he said with a laugh when that comment was put to him.
“No, obviously I think as always we have a chance to win whatever we want, or wherever we try to win because I think last season unluckily for us we don’t get to win any trophies.
“We get to the final of Europa League but unluckily we don’t win.
“But, still, with the transfers or without the transfers, Manchester United will always be a tough opponent, we will try to win every competition we are included (in).
“As I always said, for me, being at this level, at this club, we want to win. It’s because of that I know we have the chance to win everything we are included (in).
“After, you can win or not, but we have the chance and we should and we will do our best to win something of course.”
The Villarreal defeat was a gut punch at the end of a promising campaign for Solskjaer’s developing United team.
“Of course it was more than frustration,” Fernandes said of the Gdansk loss. “It was sad because everyone works so hard to get to that final and to try to win.
“We do a good game. I think we should win the game in the normal time but, anyway, Villarreal is a good team. They deserved to win because every time someone wins they deserve it.
“No-one wins and they don’t deserve it. They do something good or something well to win the game, so better than us.
“Anyway, more than frustration, I’m proud. I’m proud of what we have done because of course we want to win trophies and we know we have the chance, and we have the capacity to win trophies.
“But I see an improvement on the team, on the mentality of the team, on the quality of the team.
“And I think the team will improve more this season and we are going up better and better, day by day, and now this is a new season, a new chance to win something and to do something different.”
Fernandes was speaking as launch ambassador for RealFevr’s NFTs, which features goals from the Portuguese playmaker along with other top players, shortly after his first training session back at United after the summer.
“It’s always nice to come back, you know, because you pass some time away from the club,” the 26-year-old said.
“When you are at the club and when you arrive at the end of the season, you start thinking ‘oh, I’m tired, my head, I need to rest, I need to see the family’.
“It was basically two seasons in one because of the Covid (situation) and everything.
“We have after the semi-final of the Europa League against Sevilla (in 2020) like five days to rest and come back again to start the new season, so basically it was everything in a row.
“But it’s always good to be back, it’s always good to see the lads again and have the chance to train with them.
“Of course as a player you want to be to be part of that, you want to be on the pitch training, having the chance to touch the ball. I’m really happy to be here.”
Fernandes’ 2020-21 season ended when Portugal exited Euro 2020 at the last-16 juncture, meaning he watched the final from afar as his former home country beat his current one.
“My first girl was born in Italy so she’s a European Championship (winner),” the former Novara, Udinese and Sampdoria player said. “I’m not but she is.
“Basically I’m happy for Italy because they deserve to win. They make a really good European (tournament).
“I’m sad at the same time for England because it’s the country where I live now and I have some friends playing for the country.
“It was a mix of emotions and of course seeing one of my friends (Marcus Rashford) missing the penalty hurts a lot but that is (the) past.”