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Alvaro Fernandez’s loan move to Benfica will become permanent if he starts 50 per cent of games

Manchester United defender Alvaro Fernandez will join Benfica on a permanent basis this summer if he starts in 50 per cent of their games this season, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The left-back spent the first half of the campaign on loan with La Liga side Granada where he was in-and-out of the starting line-up. United eventually triggered a break clause in the deal.

Fernandez has now joined Benfica on a temporary deal until June. The Portuguese champions have a €6 million buy option which will become obligatory if he starts in half of their games.

If the club graduate joins them on a long-term deal, United will have a buy-back clause and sell-on clause. They have also agreed matching rights for any outside bids for the Spaniard.

United have made a wise transfer decision on Fernandez

The 20-year-old had a good pre-season with United earlier this summer. It was anticipated that he could break into the first-team squad after injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

However, manager Erik ten Hag preferred to sign Sergio Reguilon on a short-term loan to provide competition to Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof and Sofyan Amrabat for the left-back role.

This gave a clear indication that Ten Hag does not see Fernandez in his short-term plans. Hence, United have made a wise decision to loan him out with a view to a potential transfer.

Fernandez has the opportunity to develop at one of the most successful clubs in Portugal. Benfica have been brilliant in transforming emerging players into top performers in recent years.

Enzo Fernandez, Darwin Nunez and Goncalo Ramos are a few examples. If Fernandez can stand out with his displays in the Primeira Liga, United could re-sign him in the long run.

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