Why Bruno Fernandes moved to Manchester United and not Tottenham in transfer window
Feb. 13, 2020
Tottenham Hotspur had the chance to beat Manchester United to the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, but refused to meet their valuation.
That’s according to the Portuguese club’s president Frederico Varandas, who sanctioned a £50million deal to sell Fernandes to United last month.
After months of speculation, the midfielder completed his move to Old Trafford and has since made a positive start to life in the Premier League with a strong debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The move, which could reach up to £67.2m, almost did not happen as Spurs were linked with a deadline day switch last summer.
And Varandas has explained why a switch fell through.
“At the end of June, we had become aware that we were going to sell Bruno,” Varandas told Portuguese newspaper Record .
“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.”
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Varandas said Fernandes’ sale was necessary because the Primeira Liga side needed €115m (£96.5) to stay afloat, which meant United’s offer became far more appealing owing to the financial logistics.
“There are no non-negotiable players,” he added. “Bruno Fernandes is the proof. And it was an obligation. We wouldn’t be able to reach €115m without [selling] him.
“With the sale in January, for €63m practically certain, it was shown that we did well to resist and not to accept the proposal of Tottenham.”
Tottenham signed Giovani Lo Celso instead, initially on loan from Betis, which Jose Mourinho turned into a permanent move last month.
It was an easy decision, according to the manager.
“Incredible evolution since I arrived. Barely played a game, I think he played against Red Star Belgrade, with me a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.
“But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid.
“By himself he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option [to sign permanently]. That’s normal, he earned it.”
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