Midfielder Bruno Fernandes claims a deal to join Tottenham was agreed over the summer but the switch was blocked by Sporting Lisbon. The 24-year-old was in demand after hitting 20 goals in 33 Primeira Liga games last season and he almost earned a dream move to the Premier League.
Tottenham expressed an interest in signing the Portugal international early in the summer after it emerged that Christian Eriksen, who only has one year left on his deal, could be departing.
Manchester United were also keen on the midfielder but he wasn’t regarded as a top priority for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mauricio Pochettino and the Spurs board put all their efforts into getting a deal over the line in order to beat their rivals to his signature.
Fernandes has revealed that negotiations progressed well and he was happy to accept the personal terms offered up.
However, Sporting, who he claims knew of his desire to head to north London, blocked the move due to a dispute over the transfer fee. “As you all know, Tottenham made a lot of proposals for me. Everything was right with me – or practically should be,” the 24-year-old told GQ Portugal. “I never made any big demands, my manager was always dealing with the financials. It was and is my goal to play in England, Sporting you know that, everyone knows that, and there were conditions for things to be done. “But Sporting understood that the value was not enough and I have to respect the decision.”
Spurs were left having to make a late move in the transfer window and they eventually secured a loan deal for Real Betis playmaker Giovani Lo Celso.
It’s not clear how much Tottenham were offering for Fernandes but his contract, which was signed last summer, contains a release clause of £31million.
Had a club met that fee but Sporting rejected the bid then Fernandes would have been compensated to the tune of £4.5million.
The former Udinese man clearly has his sights set on a move to the Premier League in the future and Spurs may reignite their interest next summer when Lo Celso’s loan deal expires.
Meanwhile, the saga with Eriksen continues to rumble on with the European transfer window still open until September 2.
Real Madrid are known to be the leading candidates for his signature but Paris Saint-Germain are also keeping tabs on the situation.