The president of Primeira Liga outfit Sporting CP has this afternoon provided an insight into Tottenham’s summer proposal for midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
24-year-old Fernandes has emerged as one of Portuguese football’s star performers over the last couple of seasons.
The former Udinese and Sampdoria man possesses all of the key traits of a modern attacking midfielder, combining a keen eye for goal, set-piece prowess, creative flair and a penchant for the spectacular.
Across all competitions last season, Fernandes racked up a staggering 29 goals and 17 assists.
As a result, it subsequently came as little surprise to see a whole host of top European clubs named as keen suitors of the Sporting star this summer.
Manchester City were first rumoured to have been on the verge of clinching a deal for the midfielder, before Premier League rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham were all also touted as potential destinations.
Bit of Bruno Fernandes detail. His agent, Miguel Pinho, met with #THFC y’day. Fernandes & Lo Celso Spurs’ midfield targets. #MUFC, who met Pinho 2 months ago, asked him in past fortnight for some more time as they focus first on signing a RB (Wan-Bissaka) https://t.co/s2XCpyzQYX
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) June 20, 2019
In the end, however, a transfer failed to come to fruition for Fernandes, with the 24-year-old now set to remain at the José Alvalade Stadium until at least January, following the passing of Monday’s European transfer deadline.
‘Chose not to accept’
As such, speaking earlier today, Sporting president Frederico Varandas opened up on the scale of his side’s achievement in keeping hold of a player whom he considers to be ‘the best midfielder in Europe’:
‘Offloading players who took up 25 per cent of our budget was extremely important. We lost only one undisputed starter and kept what is, for me, the best midfielder in Europe.’
‘It wasn’t easy because they were being paid far above market value and it’s a complicated process. Whoever is at the helm of Sporting has to be strict and responsible and should never add to expenses without first ‘cleaning house’.’
‘We have managed to hold on to our highest-value player, Bruno Fernandes, and have been able to provide balance and better solutions. We think this group is more competitive and has more quality than last season.’
Varandas also discussed the summer interest of one club in particular in Sporting’s star man.
The outfit in question were Tottenham.
When questioned on whether any club came close to his valuation of Fernandes, Varandas revealed that the only ‘serious’ bid came courtesy of Spurs.
The north Londoners’ proposal, however, was based too heavily on the achievement of ‘difficult objectives’:
‘It was ‘impossible’ to retain Bruno Fernandes, but we did it. We prepared for his sale by putting a fair price on him. We had bids, but the only serious offer was from Tottenham. That was €45 million (£40m/$50m) plus another €20m (£18m/$22m) in bonuses for winning the Premier League and the Champions League.’
‘Those are difficult objectives, so we chose not to accept.’
Quotes via Goal