Bruno Fernandes has been lighting up the Portuguese league (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United need to sign Bruno Fernandes in January as well as a striker to avoid burning out their young forward line, according to Danny Murphy.

The former Liverpool midfielder also believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have been out of work by Sunday morning were it not for two excellent results against Tottenham and Manchester City.

United got one over on their old boss Jose Mourinho during the week but went one better by beating the champions at the Etihad yesterday, goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford helping them to derby-day victory.

Solskjaer began the week under pressure but after six Premier League points in four days, Murphy reckons they can start planning for multiple signings in January.

‘He can concentrate now on bringing in a couple of new players to maintain the challenge [for Champions League places],’ Murphy told the Daily Mail.

‘[They need] a forward that gives them some strength in depth so the Rashford-Martial-James triangle doesn’t have to play every week, and a midfielder in the mould of Bruno Fernandes.’

Fernandes has been repeatedly linked with a move to the Premier League after scoring 31 goals in 52 appearances for Sporting Lisbon last season.

The 25-year-old has continued his impressive scoring form from midfield this season with eight in 14 – but the club are expected to hold out for his minimum fee release clause, which is said to be around £85million.

And while Murphy believes United do need to strengthen, he also reckons they have started to find their identity under Solskjaer.

Solskjaer has bounced back as Manchester United manager (Picture: Getty)

‘United got the right balance between quality going forward and the other sides of the game like discipline, fitness and desire,’ Murphy added.

‘We know the squad isn’t the strongest but when Solskjaer has his strongest back five and front three, they are a match for anyone.

‘He faces a dilemma with Paul Pogba now because this team doesn’t deserve to be broken up. We all know his quality but would he play with the same energy to win second balls that Fred and Scott McTominay have shown?’

Murphy also believes that Solskjaer has achieved the impossible for a United boss by putting a smile on the faces of Liverpool fans.

Murphy said: ‘Solskjaer has also done something no other Manchester United manager has managed — made himself popular with Liverpool fans. There’s no doubt that yesterday’s results means the league title is going to Anfield.

‘I know Leicester City are second but Manchester City were the real rivals to Jurgen Klopp’s side and they are now 14 points behind – it’s too much.

‘I bet you’ve never seen Scousers cheer Manchester United goals in the pubs of Liverpool like you did when Anthony Martial made it 2-0.’

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