Portuguese tabloid A Bola have reported that we were interested in signing Bruno Fernandes. The 23-year-old had left Sporting Lisbon on a free transfer after having his contract terminated with the club.
We polled supporters yesterday about whether the club should try to snap up the midfielder. He had scored 16 goals and provided 20 assists in 56 appearances last season, and would no doubt have been an ideal recruit with Rafa Benitez having been keen on signing a creative midfielder for a long time.
The vast majority of fans would have liked the club to have made an offer:
However, since the poll, we have found out that Fernandes has rejoined Sporting on a five-year deal. The new contract has a release clause of £88m so there is now no likelihood that the player will be leaving Portugal this summer.
It’s a shame that we weren’t able to recruit the player, but you do have to admire the Portuguese international’s loyalty. He has not taken a pay rise to re-sign for Sporting, and despite concerns over his safety, following the training ground attack on first-team players last season, he has committed himself to the club.
There certainly won’t be many better playmakers available on the market but hopefully, Rafa has some other targets lined up. Who should we sign instead of Fernandes? Let me know in the comments.