According to Sporting Lisbon club president Frederico Varandas (h/t Football.London), Tottenham Hotspur had the chance to beat Manchester United to the signing of Bruno Fernandes but refused to meet the Portuguese club’s valuation of the player.
After endless speculation surrounding the midfielder’s future, the 25-year-old was sanctioned a £50m move by Varandas.
Whilst Fernandes has made a steady start to life in Manchester, it has since been revealed that the Portuguese international could have been playing in England’s top-flight months before his January switch to Old Trafford came about.
Speaking to Portuguese outlet Record, (h/t Football.London) Frederico Varandas has confirmed that a summer bid from Tottenham was on the table, and that had Sporting reduced their asking price and accepted the offer, then a deal to bring the 25-year-old to North London could have taken place.
“At the end of June, we had become aware that we were going to sell Bruno,” Varandas said.
“We had already signed Camacho, Rosier and Vietto, and we wanted to bring in a striker and a midfielder who were practically closed.
“The last four days of this market were the worst of my presidency, that’s when I realised that we didn’t sell Bruno Fernandes.
“Bruno’s sale was very conditioned by his return. If Sporting refused a bid of €35m, we would have to give his agent €5m. This clause was made public irresponsibly.
“It was one of the things that seriously penalised us. And it was only in this window that Sporting took that weight off our shoulders, to go and negotiate.”
Varandas went on to reveal that the club did indeed reject a proposal from Tottenham.
He continued: “There are non-negotiable players. Bruno Fernandes is the proof. And it was an obligation.
“We wouldn’t be able to reach €115million without [selling] him. With the January sale, for €63million practically certain, it was shown that we did well to resist and not to accept the proposal of Tottenham.”
Giovani Lo Celso shines
Whilst Bruno Fernandes did not move to North London, one man who did make a summer switch to Tottenham was Giovani Lo Celso, who is now emerging as a key player in the Spurs side.
The Argentine initially joined on loan from Real Betis, which Spurs then turned into a permanent deal last month.
After a somewhat difficult start to life in North London, the 23-year-old the midfielder is now at the centre of much that has gone well at Spurs in recent weeks.
Whilst Lo Celso missed the FA Cup 4th Round replay against Southampton, it’s believed that the injury is not serious and the player could well feature for Spurs as they travel to Aston Villa on Sunday in a crucial Premier League encounter.
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