The Portuguese playmaker worked with the Poland international at Udinese and is eager to be reunited with a top talent at some stage

Bruno Fernandes has nudged Manchester United in the direction of Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, with the Portuguese playmaker eager to be reunited with a former team-mate.

A talismanic presence for the Red Devils played alongside a talented Poland international for three years while on the books at Udinese, before both went their separate ways in 2016.

Fernandes has continued to keep a close eye on Zielinski’s career and admits that he would welcome the opportunity to work with the 27-year-old again if an opportunity presented itself for their paths to cross for a second time.

What has been said?

Fernandes has told Poland’s Canal+, with United forever in the market for creative talent: “Technically, I can say that Zielinski is better trained than I am.

“We had a good challenge. I think in the past, Zielinski was actually a bit shy. He was really young then, just like me, at that time.

“However, we came from different countries, different mentality, and it was different for both of us. I have a really good relationship with Piotr.

“He’s a top guy, I like him a lot. He is one of the people I met in Italy with whom I am in touch all the time.

“I spoke to him a few months ago and told him that I would like to play with him again.

“So, who knows what the future has waiting for us. For me, he is a really, really top player.”

Who else has talked up Zielinski?

Leandro Paredes Piotr Zielinski Empoli

Zielinski has taken in 238 appearances for Napoli across five seasons, registering 32 goals and being tied down on a contract through to 2024.

That agreement will make it difficult for any suitors to prise him away from the Serie A heavyweights, but his ability to take another step up has never been in question.

Another former colleague, Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina, believes the Pole would not look out of place at Camp Nou or Santiago Bernabeu were a move to La Liga ever to be considered.

He told Cadena Ser in 2020: “Is there a player who has surprised me for the better?

“There is a player who I fell in love with from the first time I saw him – the Napoli midfielder Zielinski.

“He’s a Real Madrid or Barcelona player. He is out of the ordinary.”

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