Bruno Fernandes "loses faith" in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Fernandes is said to have doubts about Solskjaer
Exactly how much truth there is to stories suggesting all is not well between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Bruno Fernandes isn't clear at this stage, but the speculation doesn't appear to be going away any time soon.
United's 6-1 hammering at the hands of Tottenham has cast further doubt over Solskjaer' suitability to remain Manchester United boss in the long-term, with some reports claiming Fernandes, who was substituted at half-time, had questioned his manager's tactical approach to the game.
Duncan Castles, a man who always seems to have his finger firmly on the pulse of any Solskjaer-related crisis, told The Transfer Window podcast that a source close to Fernandes had said the Portugal international had concerns about whether the Norwegian possessed the capabilities to help United improve.
“What I’m hearing, and this is coming from a source very close to the player, is that Fernandes’ opinion of Solskjaer is similar to that of other senior members of the team." he said.
“He doesn’t feel like [Solskjaer] is strong enough to manage the squad. He feels he doesn’t have the capabilities to push the players they have forward in the direction they should go.
“On top of that, I understand Fernandes is angry with the club in the sense that what they did in the summer. It does not cohere with his expectations of what would happen when he arrived.
“They haven’t, in his view, signed players required to improve what is obviously a substandard squad, to the level that they’re not where they can fight for titles against Manchester City, Liverpool and Europe in the Champions League.
“There is a discontent with the club and a discontent with the manager.
“It’s not entirely surprising to me that this has happened. It’s a common pattern in the dressing room...”
In isolation, perhaps this might not seem much to be worried about. It has, however, been corroborated by Portuguese journalist, Gonçalo Lopes. Quote tweeting the Transfer Window Podcast, he added: '"Fernandes loses faith in Solskjaer". True'.
"Fernandes loses faith in Solskjaer". True https://t.co/mpaP3i7N0S
— Gonçalo Lopes (@_GoncaloLopes) October 14, 2020
United have endured a difficult start to the new campaign, partly explained by their shortened preseason after the Europa League finals in summer.
An opening day defeat at home to Crystal Palace was followed by a late, late winner over Brighton, but the thrashing by Spurs - coupled with the failure to bring in any of Solskjaer's priority transfer targets - has raised serious questions about whether the club will be strong enough to challenge for another top-four finish this season. Talk of a potential title challenge already appears to have dried up.
United resume their start to the season with a visit to Newcastle on Saturday. Fernandes is expected to start in the game, despite the speculation of a rift with his manager.