PATRICE EVRA has revealed the integral role he and Cristiano Ronaldo played in bringing Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United.
The pair were good friends in their three years together at Old Trafford, even if the Frenchman occasionally found his pal a touch too competitive.
And they combined to advise Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on his transfer plans when Fernandes was being monitored at Sporting CP.
As a Portuguese national team colleague, Ronaldo spoke to Evra for a recommendation to guide the United boss’ thinking.
Evra told The Guardian why the signing was necessary, stating: “United have qualified for the Champions League. It’s not a big achievement but it’s massive progress from where we’ve come.
“I love Ole. One game we’re on the bench and I started talking. He said, ‘Patrice. I’m focused’.
“He would analyse everything so he knows which defender is getting tired. That’s why we called him the Baby Faced Assassin. He helped United win the Champions League [in 1999] that way.
“United can’t challenge Liverpool or Man City. Not yet. There’s been massive damage but we’re moving in the right direction.
“When they wanted to sign Bruno Fernandes, Ole texted me. I asked for advice from Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Cristiano says, ‘Bruno’s a good guy and very professional’.
“I say, ‘Ole, I’ve spoken with Cristiano. Let’s go for it’.
“And Fernandes had a massive impact. Without him I don’t think we would have qualified for the Champions League.”
Indeed, attacking midfielder Fernandes was vital to a successful end to the campaign in Manchester.
A stunning tally of 12 goals and eight assists in 22 games helped United breach the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals, with third place in the Premier League secured.