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Bruno Fernandes Says Sporting Blocked Transfer to Tottenham

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 31, 2019

LISBON, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 18: Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP poses for a photo with the match MVP award at the end of the Liga NOS match between Sporting CP and SC Braga at Estadio Jose Alvalade on August 18, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes has said he was close to a move to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer transfer window but Sporting CP blocked a transfer to north London.

The Portugal international told GQ Portugal (h/t Sky Sports) that Mauricio Pochettino's men were keen to bring him in, but Sporting were not happy with the offer from the Premier League club:

"As you all know, Tottenham made a lot of proposals for me. Everything was right with me—or practically should be. 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."

Tottenham did strengthen their midfield over the summer, signing Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon and Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis.

Spurs were one of several clubs to be linked with a move for Fernandes after he played a starring role for Sporting last season. The team finished third in the league and claimed the Taca de Portugal and Taca da Liga.

UEFA highlighted his contribution to the team:

UEFA Europa League @EuropaLeague

🇵🇹 Bruno Fernandes last season 🤯 💚 48 games ⚽️ 29 goals 🅰️ 17 assists Which #UEL player could match these numbers in 19/20? 🤔 https://t.co/lWxSF4QBOI

The midfielder was also part of the Portugal side that beat the Netherlands 1-0 to clinch the inaugural UEFA Nations League title in June.

Fernandes appears to have continued his fine form in the current campaign. He has already notched up four assists and a goal in three league outings for Sporting:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Bruno Fernandes' 2018-19 Liga NOS season: • 33 games • 20 goals • 13 assists Bruno Fernandes' 2019-20 Liga NOS season so far: • 3 games • 1 goal • 4 assists Picking right back up from where he left off. 🦁 https://t.co/9y0kVvDRZa

Tottenham's Premier League rivals Manchester United were regularly linked with Fernandes over the summer. However, they opted not to go for the midfielder due to "doubts over this ability," according to David McDonnell and Aaron Flanagan at the Mirror.

Meanwhile, speculation continues that Real Madrid could sign Fernandes before the Spanish transfer window closes on September 2.

Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade told Corriere dello Sport (h/t Mirko Calemme at AS) that the Portugal international will join Los Blancos when asked about rumours concerning Sporting midfielder Raphinha.

He said: "Sporting could be finished in the market because Bruno Fernandes will go to Real Madrid for €70 million."

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has hinted the club could still bring in players before Monday's deadline:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Zidane smiling when asked if Florentino has another ‘bomb’ ready for deadline day: “We will see until Monday at 12PM. Anything can happen. A bomb, two bombs…. We will see.”

Fernandes signed a new contract at Sporting in the summer of 2018 that runs until 2023. The club have so far managed to hold on to their star midfielder but may be bracing themselves for late interest from Real Madrid.