Sporting Lisbon president Frederico Varandas claims the ‘only serious offer’ for Bruno Fernandes came from Tottenham during the summer transfer window, while he has revealed details of the bid.
Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus were among the other clubs linked with a move for Fernandes, but he ended up staying in Portugal.
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And now the club president has gone into detail about Tottenham‘s bid for Fernandes, with add-ons for winning the Premier League and Champions League.
“Offloading players who took up 25 per cent of our budget was extremely important,” Varandas wrote on the club’s website. “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.
“It was ‘impossible’ to retain Bruno Fernandes, but we did it. We prepared for his sale by putting a fair price on him, and we had bids, but the only serious offer was from Tottenham and 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.
“Bruno Fernandes proved to be not only a great player but a great professional and captain. The dignity and responsibility that he has always shown is exemplary.
“The day I turned down Tottenham’s proposal, I came to the training ground and spoke to him. I told him why I declined the offer and why he would stay here beyond the end of the market and he understood perfectly.
“In addition, he also understood that the bid they offered us was not fair. He’s not leaving, he’s a Sporting player. Many European clubs want him and we know this is something we will always have to deal with.”