Fernandes agrees new contract with Manchester United

The new deal will make him one of the three highest paid players at the club

Bruno Fernandes has agreed a new contract with Manchester United that will make him one of the three highest paid players at the club.Paperwork to extend the midfielder's deal to 2027 is ready, and an announcement will follow. Talks started in July and a breakthrough was made two weeks ago.

Fernandes joined from Sporting in January 2020 on a 5½-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year, so the new proposal adds only one extra season but substantially increases his salary in recognition of his impact.

Although the 27-year-old's form has dipped this season he is regarded by United as a central part of their future regardless of who takes over from Ralf Rangnick as manager this summer.

Fernandes scored both Portugal goals on Tuesday as they beat North Macedonia to qualify for the World Cup.

United announced on Thursday that they would play in Bangkok and Melbourne in July on a tour during which they will face Liverpool in Thailand and Crystal Palace and Melbourne Victory in Australia.

Meanwhile, The Premier League has finally fallen in line with the rest of European club football and agreed to allow its teams to make five substitutions in a match.

A meeting of the league’s 20 clubs agreed to adopt the Fifa law, first drafted as an emergency pandemic measure but now made permanent, after rejecting it on three previous occasions.

The change, which will come into effect from next season, allows each side to name a bench of nine substitutes from which five can be selected. Players can be introduced on up to three different occasions during the match, as well as at half time.

The vote resolves an internal dispute which saw smaller clubs pitted against those with bigger squads, with the former generally believing the change benefited the latter. However after a winter in which most teams were forced to play with squads ravaged by Covid and injury, there was this time a majority sufficient to pass the measure.

Speaking on Thursday, Graham Potter made the case for extra substitutes. The Brighton manager was against making the change when it was first authorised but said the brief experience of using the rule during Project Restart in 2020 was positive.

“I enjoyed it as a coach when we first had it,” he said. “It could be an exciting addition. It brings a bit more hope and opportunity to everyone in the squad.”

In another change confirmed at the shareholders’ meeting, the Premier League is to drop compulsory twice-weekly testing for Covid. From April 4th testing will be required only on players or staff who are symptomatic.

The news comes despite the backdrop of an ongoing wave of Covid-19 across Britain. The league said on Monday that in its most recent round of tests, between March 21st and March 27th, 1,388 players and staff had been tested for Covid and that there had been 22 new positive results.

The Premier League also said the summer transfer window would open on June 10th and close at 11pm on September 1st.

– Guardian