Rafa Benitez has revealed that he was once making progress on a deal for Bruno Fernandes before arrived in England – only for Newcastle to be put off by a ‘complicated’ court battle that could’ve seen us sign him on a free!
The Portuguese midfielder has been a revelation for The Red Devil’s since his arrival at Manchester United last year, scoring 27 goals and 17 assists in 48 games to transform them from top four outsiders to top of the Premier League.
Some say there isn’t a better player in the Premier League on current form – but it seems Mike Ashley didn’t fancy pursuing the man Rafa Benitez had lined up a for a potential move to St James’ Park a few years ago!
Here’s what Rafa told The Times, revealing the latest transfer that got away during his time on Tyneside:
“Bruno Fernandes was a player we were following at Newcastle United. He was at Sporting Lisbon and he had an issue with his club.
“There was a chance he could leave on a free. We were progressing but the problem was that the matter would go to court and that would complicate it.
“The club didn’t want that. He has been crucial for United. He changed everything with the way he is playing — assists and goals.
“He has ‘personality’. He tries to look for the right passes. In recent games, I saw him going to press with determination and intensity.”
Rafa is a media tactician and is clearly having another thinly veiled swipe at Mike Ashley in these comments here.
Short term thinking that eventually leads to long term struggle has become synonymous with Ashley’s reign – yet this is the same man that was happy to throw £40m on an unproven talent in Joelinton!
He would be licking his lips at the thought of cashing in on Fernandes for a few of upwards £100m but instead we are crying out for a player of his mould while we settle with Johnjo Shelvey and the Longstaffs instead.