Portuguese newspaper Record today published the first part of an interview with Sporting president Bruno Varandas.
The chat they’ve had is pretty long, and even the first part has six pages of conversation, mainly about the transfer market.
Just as expected, the most commented topic was Bruno Fernandes’ move to Manchester United. Even though there wasn’t a specific part of the interview to talk about it, the move was mentioned several times.
Frederico Vadandas has revealed Sporting’s initial plan was to sell the midfielder back in the summer window. However, they didn’t receive any good offers, and once again, he’s confirmed that an attempt from Tottenham Hotspur was rejected.
“At the end of June, we had become aware that we were going to sell Bruno. We had already signed Camacho, Rosier and Vietto and we wanted to bring in a striker and a midfielder who were practically closed. The last four days of this market were the worst of my presidency, that’s when I realised that we didn’t sell Bruno Fernandes,” Frederico Varandas told Record.
He’s spoken a little about the clause from a contract the player signed in 2018: “Bruno’s sale was very conditioned by his return. If Sporting refused a bid of €35m, we would have to give his agent €5m. This clause was made public irresponsibly. It was one of the things that seriously penalised us. And it was only in this window that Sporting took that weight off our shoulders, to go and negotiate, and I apologise for the expression, practically always with the pants in hand.
“There are no non-negotiable players. Bruno Fernandes is the proof. And it was an obligation. We wouldn’t be able to reach €115m without him. With the sale in January, for €63m practically certain, it was shown that we did well to resist and not to accept the proposal of Tottenham.”
Frederico Varandas claimed a few times in the interview that he needed to make at least €115m in sales just so he could make Sporting survive financially. So when asked what he’s doing with the money from Bruno’s sale, he claims that the biggest part of it is destined for club’s structure.
“We had a cash flow requirement of €115m. Bruno was the key to this. Obviously, it isn’t everything. We will complete the investment in the academy. We encountered a very serious structural problem. We arrived and had obsolete operational infrastructures, the result of a lack of vision and investment in the last ten years. We promise and we want to do the digital transformation of the club. Sporting didn’t even have an integrated management software, suited to their reality. Each department worked separately on Excel sheets. Anyone who joined Sporting ten years ago, in September 2018 saw everything the same.”
Bruno Fernandes got his long awaited move, to Manchester United rather than Tottenham, and Varandas got the money he’d been looking for.