Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes has freed Paul Pogba from the burden of £89million transfer fee, says Rio Ferdinand

RIO FERDINAND claims Bruno Fernandes has freed Paul Pogba from the burden of his £89million price tag.

Fernandes has rejuvenated Manchester United since his £60m move from Sporting Lisbon in January.

The Red Devils look like an altogether different outfit under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the restart.

And they remain firmly in the hunt for a top four finish along with Leicester and Chelsea.

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However, Pogba has also caught the eye since his return to the team last month.

It was widely reported the World Cup winner would be leaving this summer.

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Pogba is now shining in a deeper midfield role alongside Nemanja Matic.

And United legend Ferdinand believes Fernandes’ arrival in a No10 role means Pogba no longer has to feel the pressure of his club-record £89m fee.

Ferdinand told BT Sport: “Pogba has been a totally different player since the restart.

“The energy levels in his game, it’s the Pogba United paid £89m for four years ago.

“A big factor is undoubtedly the man he is playing with in the centre of midfield – Bruno Fernandes.

“Pogba will not want to be shown up out there and that’s perhaps the motivation he needed.

“Solskjaer will be absolutely loving what he’s seeing from those two.

“Fernandes is just doing what comes naturally to him and it’s been a huge boost to Pogba’s form – it’s freed him up to play as well.

“There’s probably less pressure on him now because he knows that some of the burden of expectation is being shouldered by Fernandes.”

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Bruno Fernandes' stunning impact on Man Utd revealed in Premier League table since January transfer

MANCHESTER UNITED are a team transformed since Bruno Fernandes joined from Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese midfielder, 25, moved to Old Trafford at the very end of the January transfer window.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wishing he brought him in sooner after Fernandes reinvigorated his side.

Man Utd have gone from challenging for a Europa League spot before Christmas to looking like real contenders for next season's Premier League title since February 1.

And there is absolutely no doubt that is thanks to Fernandes.

Looking at the Premier League table since his arrival, Man Utd sit TOP.

United have won five and drawn three of their eight matches with Fernandes in the team – good for 18 points.

Even champions Liverpool can't match that, with 16 points – although they do have a "game in hand" over their fierce rivals.

Wolves sit second in the post-Fernandes transfer table – with Arsenal shock names in third.

The Gunners were on a hot run of form before lockdown, with their record somewhat tarnished since the comeback, losing to Manchester City and Brighton.

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Pep Guardiola's side themselves are good only for eighth, behind Burnley, Chelsea and Everton – with Tottenham in 11th.

But the real story is Man Utd sitting top.

Players like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have looked sharp since coming back from lockdown.

Paul Pogba is also back in the team as Solskjaer boasts a near-fully-fit squad.

But there's little doubt Fernandes is THE main man at Old Trafford right now.

In the eight games since joining, no Premier League star comes close to having Fernandes' impact.

The Portuguese ace has contributed to EIGHT goals in that span – with Mohamed Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and team-mate Martial next-best on six.

In fact, Fernandes has been involved in a goal every 85.6 minutes since moving to Manchester – better than a goal a game.

Man Utd now sit fifth in the Premier League, just two points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Solskjaer will be desperate to guarantee his side's spot in the Champions League next season with a top-four finish.

With Fernandes on the books, they'll have as good a chance as anyone with six games still to play…

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TV and Movies

Bruno Tonioli 'drops out of Strictly Come Dancing 2020 to stay in Los Angeles'

Bruno Tonioli has dropped out of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing because of the commute between London and LA, new reports state. 

The 64-year-old judge has been living in California for years, but every autumn flies to-and-from there and the UK to star on Strictly and Dancing With The Stars. 

But with quarantining in effect for travellers in both Britain and America (and DWTS paying more) he has told bosses he’s staying in one place for this year and will be missing from this year’s series. 

‘There is no way to travel back and forth at the moment, so he’s told bosses in the UK that unfortunately he will be staying over there,’ a source told The Sun. 

‘He spends a lot of his time in the States now, and the truth is he does earn a lot more from the US version.’ has contacted Strictly for comment and clarification.

Bruno has been one of the few faces to have stayed with the show since it first launched back in 2004 – with Anton Du Beke the only other star to remain throughout. 

Strictly has been confirmed to return for a limited run this Autumn, with a rumoured October start date. 

It’s believed Bruno won’t be replaced for the season, despite initial thoughts that Cheryl could step in for him.

This year’s Strictly could be seeing some big changes from the show as they adhere to shielding and social distancing guidelines designed to protect the spread of coronavirus. 

One idea includes removing the live studio audience, or putting them on designated tables in order to keep them at a safe distance away from each other. 

It’s also been reported that the season is potentially taking celebs with young families out of the running in order to keep them safe

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year on BBC One.

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TV and Movies

Strictly’s Bruno Tonioli is set to miss this year’s show and will judge the US version instead – which pays more money

BRUNO Tonioli looks to be out of this year’s Strictly after saying he will only do the US version amid the ongoing virus travel ban.

The judge, 64, usually flies between America and London each week to be on the panel for both shows.

But insiders say the BBC is not currently expecting Bruno to be available this year.

He told bosses he would stay in the US where he spends most of his time — and is paid significantly more for his appearances.

They have opted not to replace him and are prepared to have just three judges — Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse.

A source said: “Things have been up in the air as everyone works out what is going to be possible. But Bruno has had to make a decision.

“There is no way to travel back and forth at the moment, so he’s told bosses in the UK that unfortunately he will be staying over there.

“He spends a lot of his time in the States now, and the truth is he does earn a lot more from the US version.

"The hope is things might change and he’ll be able to make at least a guest appearance.”

Italian choreographer Bruno has been on the Strictly panel since the show began in 2004 and remains a hugely popular fixture.

In recent years, he has been given a week’s break mid-series to allow him to recover from the intense traveling schedule.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro has stood in for him. But the source added: “A decision has been taken that it’s Bruno or nobody.

"There won’t be any replacement. He’s one of a kind and a huge part of the show in the UK.

“Of course it will be a shame to lose him, but even if he can make it back for a couple of weeks later in the series, his seat will be waiting for him.”

The Sun last night told how this year’s series will be delayed by more than a month and launch on October 24 due to complications caused by the pandemic.

It will run for just nine weeks instead of the usual 13.

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Bruno Fernandes almost scores twice from identical Pogba passes with Man Utd pair already showing brilliant connection – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED fans were left drooling after getting another glimpse of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba's lethal partnership. 

The Portuguese ace almost scored twice from an identical Pogba pass in the Red Devils' 3-0 win at Brighton. 

Fernandes has hit the ground running at Old Trafford since his £48million switch from Sporting Lisbon – finding the net five times in eight Premier League appearances, with three of those coming since the restart of the top-flight. 

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Fans fume over Bruno Fernandes’ controversial goal for Man Utd as ball appears to go out of play in build up vs Brighton – The Sun

FANS were left fuming after VAR failed to intervene and disallow Bruno Fernandes’ goal for Manchester United.

Not one but TWO incidents were up for debate – but not according to the match officials.

Firstly, the ball appeared to be out of play in the build-to United’s second goal of the game to put them 2-0 up against Brighton.

Mason Greenwood controlled it out on the touchline, but images and replays appeared to show the ball was over the line.

And then moments later Luke Shaw was fed a pass down the left into the box which he crossed through the box leading to the Portuguese star eventually getting it and finishing.

But the left-back’s leg looked to be clearly offside – but still those managing VAR failed to intervene.

And that left Sky Sports viewers furious as they vented their anger on Twitter.

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Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes reveals how Paul Pogba turned estate agent and helped him settle after £55m transfer – The Sun

BRUNO FERNANDES has revealed that Paul Pogba turned estate agent in a bid to help him settle quickly into life at Manchester United.

Fans were forced to wait for months to see how the two would link up on the pitch because of the Frenchman's persistent injury problems.

But while the Red Devils' record-buy couldn't instantly help Fernandes in games, it turns out that he was already playing a big part behind the scenes.

In fact, it has emerged that the 27-year-old, who has on occasion worn the captain's armband at Old Trafford, even went out of his way to help his new team-mate find somewhere nice to live.

Fernandes, 25, told Soccer Bible's show The Dial Up: "Paul is the guy who showed me every house.

"He came when I arrived with a book like this and said 'where do you want to live? which price you want to pay? you want house or apartment? and flicked through the pages.

"In that day, he showed me the list, I chose three or four houses… and next day he said 'tomorrow we'll go to check every house'."

Clearly Pogba's kindness paid dividends, with Fernandes instantly settling perfectly into life as a United player.

The £55million star notched two goals and three assists in his first five Premier League outings prior to the coronavirus pandemic reaching England.

And he has picked up where he left off upon Pogba's return, coolly dispatching a penalty won by United's No6 to equalise against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

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