Last week, the Brazilian press reported Middlesbrough left-back Fabio da Silva had been offered to Cruzeiro and Palmeiras.

The player fancies a return to Brazil after nine years in Europe, and it was very likely that it was his agent doing his job and offering Fabio around.

But it seems that Middlesbrough weren’t agreeing to that. On Thursday, Cruzeiro president Gilvan Pinho Tavares spoke to the press and claimed that his club even tried to make the signing, but the transfer was blocked by Middlesbrough.

The president was talking to journalists about their search for a left-back in the transfer market and said: “That would be Fabio, who’s playing in England, he was crazy about coming to Brazil and wanted to agree with Cruzeiro. But their staff wanted his stay. Who knows in the January window maybe he can come.” (via O Tempo)

It’s very hard for Brazilian clubs to afford a transfer from Europe, so in most cases, the players move for a low fee or for free. There’s a chance that Middlesbrough’s determination to keep Fabio isn’t quite as strong as Cruzeiro believe, and it’s more a matter of finances.