Bruno Fernandes has lifted the lid on his failed move to Tottenham during the summer transfer window and has hinted he could be open to a transfer in January.
The Sporting Lisbon playmaker was heavily tipped to move to north London before the summer transfer deadline, but the switch never materialised – despite the player agreeing terms.
The fee became a huge stumbling block and it meant that the 25-year-old remained at Sporting CP, with his dream of moving to the Premier League temporarily put on ice.
Fernandes has since committed his long-term future to Sporting after signing a new contract in November, but that has not put off talk of a potential exit in the New Year.
Speaking to Portuguese publication Record about almost leaving in the summer, the talented attacking midfielder stated that Spurs were the perfect fit for him.
“In the summer I thought I could go out,” he said, as reported by Zero Zero. “I believed it was a good time to leave due to many factors. I made the best time of my career to date.
“After the UEFA Nations League there were already many contacts, especially with Tottenham. It was the team that wanted me the most and was the only one I agreed to talk with, because there were other clubs that didn’t interest me or whose project was not up to my expectations.
“Tottenham fit into everything I wish I had at that moment. It is an appealing championship. Knowing that Tottenham would be willing to pay for me and make every possible effort to take me, leaves a player eager to take that step.
“Regardless, I always kept my word that it was up to Sporting to decide whether or not to leave. Nothing changed my desire to be here and to want to stay here.
“Sporting nurtured me, gave me a lot. It was a source of great pride and honour to continue representing Sporting.
“Obviously, the transfer market moves any player, especially when we know which clubs are behind us or want us, but I’ve always tried to stay focused because the image I want to leave at Sporting is that.
“Until the last day I am here, I will always do my best and continue to do my best.”
Should Spurs try and make another move for Fernandes, their major issue now is likely to be a higher release clause.
Having haggled unsuccessfully over the £60million fee for Fernandes last time out, the player’s new exit fee is now at around £85m – which may represent a massive problem for Tottenham given their financial constraints.
Instead his comments were believed to be a way of trying to get Sporting Lisbon to lower their asking price for Fernandes.