Bruno Fernandes overruled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when missing his stoppage-time penalty against Aston Villa last month, according to reports.
Manchester United were trailing 1-0 at Old Trafford but were given a last gasp opportunity to salvage a point when they were awarded a spot-kick.
It instantly led to a debate over who would assume penalty responsibilities with Cristiano Ronaldo now in the side.
Fernandes has established himself as one of the best from 12 yards, scoring 21 out of 22 since his move to United in 2020.
But after Villa ‘keeper Emi Martinez urged Ronaldo to step up, Fernandes grabbed the ball, only to fire high into an astonished Stretford End.
Ronaldo was quick to comfort his compatriot, but according to Reach PLC’s Transfer Window P odcast , it was the 36-year-old designated to take the decisive kick.
“Very interesting interaction between the Aston Villa goalkeeper, the penalty kick specialist, Emiliano Martinez, and Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“One of the things the goalkeeper used to try to put Bruno Fernandes off was to say to Cristiano Ronaldo, ‘you should be taking this penalty’. And it turns out he was right,” journalist Duncan Castles said on the podcast.
“Information I have is that going into that game against Aston Villa, Cristiano Ronaldo was the designated penalty taker for Manchester United.
“He should’ve taken the penalty at the key moment in the game, instead Bruno Fernandes took it upon himself to take it and ultimately miss it.
“I think from that information you can probably see why he made such an act of apology in putting out a seven paragraph social media mea culpa over that miss.”
Fernandes issued a lengthy apology following the miss, with Solskjaer publicly backing the star, while refusing to acknowledge who he had told to take it.
“Bruno has been excellent and Cristiano is probably the one who has scored the most penalties in world football. So we’ve got great takers here,” said the United manager.
“Bruno has been excellent, he’s such a good penalty taker and today, you’d back him with your mortgage.
“He’ll step forward every day of the week, for the club and the team, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
In the following game against Villarreal in the Champions League, which saw Ronaldo score in injury-time winner, Fernandes told reporters that he would have remained on penalty duties, had they been awarded one.
“I was on penalties [against Villarreal] but we didn’t get one,” he told BT Sport. “The manager will decide before the game who takes it.”
Fernandes watched on as his United team-mate scored not once, but twice from the spot during Portugal’s thrashing of Luxembourg.
Ronaldo scored the 10th hat-trick of his record-breaking international career, with Fernandes claiming the former Real Madrid and Juventus star simply “doesn’t fail”.
United take on Leicester City this weekend, where all eyes will be on the two Portuguese prodigies should they be awarded another penalty.