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Tottenham tried to sign me - but I cried when Manchester United transfer was confirmed

Bruno Fernandes in action for Manchester United against Tottenham
-Credit: (Image: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)


Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes has revealed his conflicting emotions when a proposed move from Sporting to Tottenham fell apart.

The Portuguese star arrived at Old Trafford in January 2020 in a deal worth nearly £60million, and had a huge impact during his first year at the club. But it could have been a very different situation.

Spurs were interested in the attacking midfielder the summer before, following their Champions League final loss against Liverpool. But a deal did not come to pass.

And now Fernandes, speaking to the Players' Tribune, has lifted the lid on the failed transfer to Spurs - one that left him with "complicated" emotions.

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"You need to understand a bit about my situation," Fernandes said about his eventual move to Manchester United. "The previous summer, there were some rumours about Premier League clubs being interested in me, but the only thing that was concrete was Tottenham. It feels weird to me now, but at the time, I was excited. One of my life goals was to play in the Premier League.

"I tried to block out all the noise, but in the age we are living in, with social media and phones and text, of course my friends let me know about the rumours. As a kid from Portugal, you can’t help but dream a bit about playing at the big grounds in England.

"In the end, the clubs couldn’t reach an agreement, and the deal fell apart. It was a complicated emotion, but I was really happy at Sporting. I felt the love of the fans, and it was a fantastic place for me. But it was not my destiny.

"A few months went by, and the new season started, and I tried to block out all the noise. So when my agent called me in January, I was a bit shocked when he said, 'No, no. I’m serious. United. What do you want to do?'

"I literally told Ana, 'I feel like I am already living a dream at Sporting. But this is…. It’s more than a dream. It’s Manchester United.'

"All this time, my agent was still on the phone! I don’t even know if I put him on mute. Maybe he was still talking to me about the deal, and I just wasn’t responding. Finally, I said, 'Miguel? We are going to United.'

"I hung up the phone and hugged my wife, and I just cried tears of joy."

Fernandes previously spoke about the failed move, stating that it was ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino driving the interest - and he was only informed of the bid from Spurs after it had already been rejected.

"Obviously I wanted to go to the Premier League. The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, was the one who wanted me there. It was a good offer but Sporting tried their best to keep me.

"The president (Frederico Varandas) 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. Luckily for me, the manager (Marcel Keizer) was the right one at the right time."

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