That makes him slightly cheaper Fernandes, who left Sporting for United for an initial £47m, although add-ons in the deal mean United have paid £55m.
If Fernandes is named PFA Player of the Year this season, following 16 goals and 10 assists in 29 Premier League matches so far, then United will have to pay the Portuguese outfit another £4.2m.
Yet while the influential 26-year-old is a guaranteed starter whenever fit, Goncalves could still have a significant role to play if he were to head to Old Trafford.
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The younger Portuguese’s versatility means he and Fernandes could line up in the same team, while Van de Beek – signed last summer from Ajax – has been linked with an early transfer exit this summer.
Solskjaer admitted earlier this year that Van de Beek isn’t entirely happy in Manchester, though insists he still has a role to play this season and in the campaigns to come.
“I wouldn’t say that Donny is happy,” the Norwegian coach said. “Of course, he wants to play more, but he gets about his job in the right manner.