Man United complete first summer transfer as statement released

Alvaro Fernandez
-Credit: (Image: Nuno Branco/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Full-back Alvaro Fernandez has completed a permanent transfer from Manchester United to Benfica after the Portuguese club exercised their option to buy following the end of his loan deal.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a successful six-month spell in Lisbon, making 16 appearances for Roger Schmidt's side as they finished second in Liga Portugal behind rivals Sporting CP. With bosses at the club impressed, the Manchester Evening News reported prior to the weekend they would be signing Fernandez.

Now, on Sunday night, the deal has been confirmed as United confirmed their first transaction of the 2024 summer transfer window in a club statement.

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After explaining the formalities, it concluded: "Everyone at United would like to wish Alvaro all the best of luck in the future and will be keeping an eye on his progress."

In return, Benfica have handed over around £5 million plus £2.5m in potential add-ons for a player who never actually made his senior debut while at Old Trafford. The ex-Real Madrid youth featured 62 times for United's academy teams, but never made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Erik ten Hag's sides.

In the first half of the current campaign he spent a brief time in La Liga with Granada, then before that in 2022/23 he was named Preston North End's Young Player of the Season having enjoyed the entire year on loan to the Championship club.

United are happy with the deal having managed to secure a buy-back clause and sell-on fee should Fernandez be sold to another club first. Sources feel they have built 'a lot of protections' in similar deals for recent departures, like when organising Hannibal Mejbri's current loan to Sevilla.