Who is Manchester United target Federico Bernardeschi? Everything you need to know…
Reports in Italy suggest that Man United have tabled a €28m bid for Fiorentina's Federico Bernardeschi, but who the hell is he? Let us educate your brain via words and sentences.
First things first, Bernardeschi is a 22-year-old winger who plays for Serie A side Fiorentina. He is the product of the Viola youth academy, which means he spent his formative years at the club, not that he played a largish violin as a child. He may have - we simply don't know.
He made his professional debut aged 19, whilst on loan to Serie B side FC Crotone in 2013. A year later he wore the famous purple jersey of Florence for the first time when then head coach Vincenzo Montella selected the 20-year-old youngster for the Serie A game versus Genoa.
Manchester United have been trailing Bernardeschi for some time, and indeed Sir Alex Ferguson tried to nab the player from the Centro Sportivo Campini back in 2011, when he was only 17. But following discussions with his family, the Italian youth international decided against the move.
In terms of playing style, he is fast and technically gifted. Despite being left-footed, he prefers to play on the right wing. This allows him to become inverted - it sounds painful but trust us, it just means he likes to cut inside. He is blessed with excellent vision and bloody loves a reverse-pass.
Physically, the most obvious Old Trafford comparison is Lee Sharpe. Like Sharpe, Bernardeschi is tall for a winger at six foot, and surprisingly strong on the ball despite his somewhat gangly frame. He is also hard-working and tracks back well when his team are without possession.
On the day that Bernardeschi was born, American songstress Mariah Carey topped the UK charts with the heart-wrenching ballad 'Without You'. Feel old yet? Good.
If the talented winger looks familiar, he's often mistaken for British actor Jamie Bell. Not a day goes by without people wrongly assuming that he played Billy Elliot in the film Billy Elliot. He did not. Nor did he dream of becoming a ballet dancer during the 1984-85 miners' strike.
All of the above is 100% true, for the most part. We strongly refute any accusations that it's based on watching a few YouTube videos and padding it out with made-up b*llocks about Billy Elliot.