Club Brugge CEO Vincent Mannaert has suggested he ramped up striker Igor Thiago’s asking price in negotiations with Brentford, because he knew they had the money from previous negotiations for Antonio Nusa.

Mannaert has been speaking to Het Laatste Niuews about Thiago’s impending move to Brentford, which is the last departure he’s negotiated for the club before departing in the summer.

The surprise transfer was announced this year, with Brentford paying €37m to sign the striker after an impressive season in Belgium.

The move was very much kept quiet and took most by surprise, particularly as Brentford had spent most of the January transfer window negotiating for his teammate Antonio Nusa.

That deal never happened thanks to various issues discovered during his medical seeing the Bees turn away, and then seemingly deciding to target Thiago, who most believe will be the replacement for Ivan Toney at the club.

€37m is a high price for a striker who only moved to Belgium from Russia in July last year, and Mannaert has revealed he managed to negotiate that price as he was more than aware Brentford had the money in the bank.

“We knew: Brentford had the money because they had wanted to pay the amount early for Antonio Nusa. We also had difficulties with the way they canceled the Nusa deal,” he said.

“When his file was on the table, Igor was in a period where everything was working, every ball on target was going in. Brentford came back to watch the cup match at home against Union and were completely convinced.

“And as Brentford’s best striker, Ivan Toney, will soon be leaving for a big club anyway, all the pieces of the puzzle have come together.”