Bruno Fernandes was persuaded to move to Manchester United by an unlikely party – Manchester City forward Bernardo Silva.
Fernandes moved from Sporting to the Red Devils in a £47m January move and has impressed the Old Trafford faithful with a series of excellent performances.
However, it took the midfielder some time to decide whether the move was right for him before eventually signing on 29 January.
And it was in fact a player from United’s city rivals that helped convince Fernandes to get the deal over the line.
Silva, who is close with compatriot Fernandes, told Sport360 : “I’m happy for him, he’s had a great start. He asked me about Manchester and I said what I thought was right.
“It’s a great club for him, it’s a great opportunity and he’s doing great.”
Silva is settled in England after moving to Manchester City from Monaco in 2017 and believes Fernandes has the quality to shine in the Premier League.
“I’m not surprised how well he has started because he’s a great player,” he said. “He’s a good friend of mine, I’ve played with him since we were in the Under-19s with Portugal.
“His qualities? He has a great work rate, very intelligent and he’s a guy who arrived very well in the box, scores lots of goals, gets assists. He’s a crucial player and is showing that in the first few weeks.”
However, friendship will not get in the way as Manchester City travel to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m happy for him because he’s a friend, but I don’t want him to win on Sunday,” he added. “I want to beat him obviously.
“It’s a very special game for the players and for the fans and we want to give them this win.”
This will be the fourth Manchester Derby of the season, with United currently holding the advantage with two wins and one loss.
The Red Devils stunned the Etihad Stadium in December with a 2-1 league win, but City came out on top over two legs in the Carabao Cup semi-finals – despite losing the second leg – after dominating United with a 3-1 victory in the first leg.