Manchester United windfall as Benfica trigger buy option for loan star

manchester united windfall as benfica trigger buy option for loan star

Alvaro Fernandez has done enough to convince Benfica to sign him permanently (Picture: Getty Images)

Benfica have triggered their option to buy Alvaro Fernandez from Manchester United after a loan spell, spending around €6m (£5.1m) on the Spaniard.

The left-back joined the Portuguese side on loan in January and has made 11 appearances in the Primeira Liga and three more in the Europa League.

The Spain Under-21 international joined Manchester United from Real Madrid in 2020 and spent a season on loan at Preston, winning their Young Player of the Year in 2023.

The 21-year-old went out on loan again to Granada at the start of this season, but was recalled and sent to Benfica in January.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that the full-back has signed a five-year contract with Benfica, which includes Manchester United having a buy-back clause, matching rights and a sell-on clause.

Fernandez was given more opportunities late in the season after injury to Alexander Bah and impressed former Portugal and Benfica defender Joao Manuel Pinto.

‘He is a player who fits into Benfica’s offensive process and idea,’ Pinto told O Jogo. ‘He appears often in the area, crosses well, explores the interior area well and defends well. With Carreras, Benfica can make better use of this offensive idea

manchester united windfall as benfica trigger buy option for loan star

Fernandez spent four years at Manchester United after joining from Real Madrid (Picture: Getty Images)

‘He appears in the end zone and finishes. And he also showed that he has aggression.

‘He is a player with quality and hunger for the game, he has already shown that. He has responded. I like him, he needs to play more, but he is very useful, I believe he will seize the opportunity.

‘With playing time he acquires rhythm and confidence. You have to remember that he also had a period of adaptation and that the best time was the last one.’

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