Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has admitted that he was furious when a potential move to Tottenham fell through before he eventually joined the Red Devils in 2020. The 28-year-old made the switch to Old Trafford from Sporting for a transfer fee of around £47million and has since established himself as one of United’s most influential players in the middle of the park.
It could have all turned out very differently for Fernandes, though, if Sporting had allowed him to join Tottenham when the north Londoners came calling just months before he signed for United. They made an offer that fell short of Sporting’s demands, with the Portuguese club’s refusal to accept the bid leaving Fernandes hugely frustrated behind closed doors.
“Obviously I wanted to go to the Premier League,” Fernandes told The Athletic when quizzed on Tottenham’s failed pursuit of his signature.
“The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, was the one who wanted me there. It was a good offer but Sporting tried their best to keep me.
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“The president spoke with me but he spoke with me on the wrong day. It was the day after they decided to refuse the offer from Tottenham and I was really angry [but] luckily for me, the manager [Marcel Keizer] was the right one at the right time.”
Fernandes would eventually get his move to England at the very next opportunity, with United snapping him up in January 2020 on a five-and-a-half-year contract. He was rewarded with a new and improved deal earlier this year to bring his salary in line with the Premier League’s highest earners and keep him tied down until the summer of 2026.
The midfielder went on to explain that he managed to endear himself to United as a result of his passionate approach to the game, with one particular showing against Porto catching the eye of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“At the beginning of January, my agent said you don’t need to worry because any time I bring you a club, it will be a dream club for you,” added Fernandes.
“He knew that the dream club was Man United. Ole was a big part of that because he actually went to see my games. He saw me moaning a lot in that game against Porto, I moaned a lot against their players, against the referees.
“I moan against everyone who is against me, not those who are with me. Ole saw someone that was passionate and it helped him sign me for the club.”
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