Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Manchester United’s rich history of boasting “the biggest stars in the world” helped to convince Bruno Fernandes to join the club, admits the Portuguese midfielder.
The Red Devils tied up a €55 million (£47m/$60m) agreement with Sporting for the 25-year-old during the winter transfer window.
Long-standing interest had been held in Fernandes by those at Old Trafford, but various other landing spots had opened up to a talented playmaker – including Premier League rivals Tottenham.
Fernandes told the Red Devils’ official website:
“You look in the past and when I’m younger, you look at the players who play for Manchester United and you see the biggest stars in the world.
“You see the best players in the world. You have players from everywhere and also, we talked a lot and I told you about Cristiano.
“I looked at Manchester with more interest when Cristiano was here because it’s normal when you have Portuguese players in some teams, you look at them more than other teams.
“But at that moment, I started to look at Manchester in a different way because you see Cristiano but then you see also the team and you have Scholes, you have Rooney, you have Giggs and you have [Roy] Keane, [Eric] Cantona before.
“You have a lot of players… I don’t know… [Ruud] van Nistelrooy… I can stay here for hours saying all the names of players for Manchester United. Also Nani, who’s played with me. You have big stars playing here!”