Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes joked he is the new Juan Sebastian Veron after sporting a goatee while isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.

While a number of players have shaved their heads due to social distancing policies during the coronavirus pandemic making it tricky to get a professional trim, Fernandes has only taken the razor to his facial hair.

United team-mate Diogo Dalot teased him by tweeting that he now looked like a character in Netflix drama Narcos.

However, Fernandes believes his new look shared greater similarities with a former United player.

"We've found the new Juan Sebastian Veron! But the hair, the hair needs to stay," he told MUTV.

Fernandes has quickly become a key figure since arriving at United from Sporting CP in January in a deal worth £67.6million (€80m).

The Portugal international is yet to taste defeat in his nine appearances for the club and has contributed three goals and four assists.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's backing has been important to him since he arrived at Old Trafford, but he says he would have been ready to give "200 per cent" to force himself into the manager's plans in different circumstances.

"For me, the most important was obviously the confidence of the coach. I need to know I am backed from the coach, because sometimes when you change club, not every time the coach wants you," said Fernandes.

"Not like I need to come because the coach wants me to play, no, not like this, but I want to feel the confidence from the coach: 'You come, you are a choice for me and you come. I need you, I want you.'

"It's not like you come and I ask, 'But I will play?' No, this for me is not the point. For me, the point is the confidence he has in me. If he has confidence in me, then the rest is working."

He continued: "I feel the confidence from the club and I feel also the confidence from the coach, Ole, and also if maybe the choice was not from the coach, I come.

"I come and I will show to the coach I can play, I can be a choice for him, because sometimes you need to press yourself to be better and give more.

"Maybe if I come and I am not the choice for the coach, I will know I need to give not 100 per cent, 200 per cent, because the coach needs to see, he needs to see me, he needs to understand that I need to play, I want to play more than the others.

"In your mind, you want to play more than the others, but the others are thinking the same way with you.

"This is the confidence we need to have to keep improving, to keep training more and the healthy battles you need in the team. You are competing with someone, this one, this one and this one.

"You need to give more than him and he will be thinking the same way with me and then, if you're thinking the same way, you can be much better. Me and him.

"It doesn't matter who plays, you will train better, I will train better and so the team will be better."

Bruno Fernandes' performance in Manchester United's 3-0 victory over Watford drew comparisons with Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer underlined the Portugal international's quality.

Solskjaer recalled Veron's ability to thread long-range passes and Scholes' technique after Fernandes scored United's opening goal and had a hand in strikes from Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

The victory was Fernandes' first at Old Trafford following his transfer from Sporting CP, and Solskjaer said his displays since joining the club had eased the attacking-midfield problems within the squad.

"In today's market I think we got a good deal," Solskjaer told reporters. "He has come in, done really well and given everyone a boost.

"It means more than just getting a player in. You can see the supporters are used to players with that personality, mentality and quality. He's been a big plus.

"From day one and, first minute, [he] felt like a presence in the group. First training session, demanding the ball. Some players take some time in warming up, but he felt confident straight away.

"It is a bit of a mix between Scholes and Veron. To be fair, he's got the temperament of Veron and a lot of the quality of Scholesy. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can do everything a midfielder can do, similar to Veron and Scholes.

"One of the good things about him is he risks the ball like Veron did. I used to love playing with Seba [Veron] because you could make runs and you'll get the ball. And if he doesn't hit you, at least he's looking for you."

Midfield creativity has been an issue for Solskjaer this season, particularly due to Paul Pogba's lengthy injury lay-off and Jesse Lingard's struggle for form.

The United boss said Fernandes would not be limited to the advanced role behind the forwards, but indicated the club had recruited a key figure in his plans for the future.

"He is here now and he is one of the pieces that we are trying to put together," said Solskjaer. "He is a big piece in it and an important piece, because we are getting towards the business end of the field.

"We have spent with Harry [Maguire] and Aaron [Wan-Bissaka], who have done fantastically, and now we have got this number 10 or attacking midfield role nailed down. Hopefully he'll keep fit and keep producing performances.

"Some games he will play in a two, some games as an attacking midfielder, some games as a 10. He has played every position in midfield.

"He is going to be a very important part and is coming in to be a very important player for us because we've needed that type of player."

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo is a target for Estudiantes and they are "working" on his signing, according to the Argentine club's sporting director Juan Sebastian Veron.

Rojo joined United from Sporting CP in 2014 but has rarely been considered first choice, with injuries a regular problem for him, while he has also seemingly failed to convince incumbent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

This season the 29-year-old has featured just three times in the Premier League and media reports suggest United are actively trying to offload the centre-back, who is said to be on a wage of around £130,000-a-week.

Argentina international Rojo came through Estudiantes' academy and represented the first team before leaving for a brief spell with Spartak Moscow prior to joining Sporting.

But his family are reportedly eager to return to Argentina, and Veron – a former United player – is hopeful of being able to strike a deal.

He is quoted as saying by La Nacion: "Hopefully United can see that there is no economic issue that we can match, but that it [the deal] happens in other ways and that we can attract him. We are working so that he can come back.

"He has everything to keep playing Europe, but he wants continuity."

Estudiantes president Juan Sebastian Veron confirmed talks have taken place with Vissel Kobe captain Andres Iniesta over a switch to the Argentine club.

Spanish great Iniesta has been linked to a reunion with former Barcelona team-mate Javier Mascherano at Estudiantes.

The 35-year-old Iniesta – contracted to Vissel until 2021 – has called Japan home since leaving LaLiga giants Barca in 2018.

Amid growing links to Estudiantes – where ex-Barca defender Gabriel Milito is head coach – after Mascherano arrived from Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortuna, Veron insisted negotiations are yet to take place.

"Today, we can't say that there are negotiations with Iniesta," Veron told La Oral Deportiva. "[But] yes, there are talks.

"[Trying to sign] Iniesta is something that people will not forget about, regardless of whether it materialises or not."

Veron added: "Having Javier in the club is an important fact, not only for Estudiantes but also for Argentine football, for all that he is as a person and a professional."

Iniesta has scored 10 goals since joining Vissel, who also boast Lukas Podolski, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper, while David Villa retired at the end of the season.

Former Barcelona and Argentina star Javier Mascherano has agreed to join Primera Division side Estudiantes.

The 35-year-old left Barcelona at the end of the 2017-18 season to sign a deal with Chinese Super League outfit Hebei China Fortune.

He has made 53 appearances for the club over the past two seasons but will now make a return to Argentina 14 years after leaving River Plate for Brazilian side Corinthians.

Estudiantes announced the deal on social media alongside a video of president and former Seleccion team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron dining with Mascherano.

"We have travelled 19,000km to welcome Javier to the Pincha family," the club wrote on Twitter. "Estudiantes is your home, Mascherano."

Mascherano retired from international duty after the 2018 World Cup, having amassed a national record 147 caps.

Estudiantes are seventh in the Primera Division after picking up 22 points from their opening 13 games.  

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