File photo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reduced the size of Bruno Fernandes on their banner at Old Trafford in order to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fernandes, 27, has been the talisman for the Red Devils since joining in January 2020 and featured prominently on the poster adorning the side of the stadium.

But Ronaldo’s sensational return to the club from Juventus this summer means the midfielder is no longer the main man in the United dressing room.

This is reflected in the newly-unveiled banner at Old Trafford, with Ronaldo occupying Fernandes’ large former slot while his Portugal teammate has been demoted to a smaller berth.

Bruno Fernandes has been usurped on the Old Trafford poster

Bruno Fernandes has been usurped on the Old Trafford poster

Despite making way for his compatriot on the poster, Fernandes is delighted to join forces with his compatriot at club level for the first time.

“We know the enthusiasm will be red hot, everyone knows Cristiano is in the house,” said Fernandes while away on international duty.

“Everyone is very confident and happy that he is back, the players too. We know what he can give us, and our focus, like Cristiano’s, is to win.

Ronaldo and Fernandes enjoyed a productive recent spell with Portugal, with the former scoring two late goals to seal a 2-1 victory over Republic of Ireland last week.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was booked for taking off his shirt during his emphatic celebrations after his 96th-minute winner.

This meant he was suspended for Portugal’s second World Cup qualifier of the international break, against Azerbaijan on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo has taken centre stage outside Manchester United's ground

Ronaldo was granted permission to travel to the United Kingdom to begin a five-day period of isolation before taking part in his first training session under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this week.

Fernandes, meanwhile, stayed on with the national team and converted a penalty in the 3-1 victory over Qatar in Saturday’s friendly.

The former Sporting Lisbon star then laid on an assist as Portugal won 3-0 at the Baku Olympic Stadium.

Fernandes will look forward to arriving back at the Red Devils’ Carrington base to rekindle his partnership with Ronaldo.

He previously hailed the Real Madrid legend as his role model, saying: “Growing up, everyone knows Cristiano was my favourite player. We young people look at him as an idol.”

While Fernandes is almost certain to line up against Newcastle United in Saturday’s Premier League encounter, Solskjaer faces a decision over whether to throw Ronaldo into the dray immediately, or give him more time to adapt to life back in England.

Source: www.mirror.co.uk

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