'I will put him down' - Bruno Fernandes casts doubt over reunion with Raphinha ahead of Leeds United's clash against Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes has cast doubt over Leeds United winger Raphinha's involvement against Manchester United - but hopes he can face his close friend.
The Whites host the Red Devils at Elland Road this weekend as the two clubs renew rivalries for the first time in West Yorkshire in over 16 years.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men ran out 6-2 winners in December at Old Trafford - a game where Leeds were two goals behind after three minutes before trailing 4-1 at the interval.
Fernandes bagged two goals in the festive encounter and is hoping for more joy against the Whites along with a meeting and showdown against a familiar face.
The 26-year-old midfielder remains a close friend of Leeds winger Raphinha from their time together at Portuguese top flight outfit Sporting Lisbon.
Marcelo Bielsa's wide man, though, missed his side's 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Monday due to a thigh injury and is again a doubt this weekend.
Fernandes has now dropped a hint that the Brazilian could be set to miss out as Sunday's crucial meeting in LS11 looms.
"I think maybe he will still be injured at the time,“ he told Manchester United's official website.
“I hope not. I hope I can play against him but, if I have to put him down in the game, I will put him down. The relationships stay out of the game. He knows that.
"He is one of the players who knows me better than anyone. He knows the relationship but even in the training ground, he knows it never counts when we play against each other.
"If we have to fight in the game, we’ll fight for everything and then go home.
“If there is time to see each other, we will see and we will talk but he knows, in the game, there are no friends at all.”
Asked about the rivalry between the two teams, Fernandes added: "I know what this means for the fans.
“We talked about that before the first game [at Old Trafford] and, of course, with the fans it can be a really good game and atmosphere, an intense atmosphere over there.
"I think every player likes those kind of intense games, the atmosphere would be good with the fans but we have to make it good anyway, without fans."