We must admit that we love it when newspapers know nothing about transfer moves and suddenly the manager turns up revealing them.
This is the case of Benfica boss Bruno Lage, who in a press conference today, has claimed that the Eagles tried to sign a West Ham player in the summer.
The manager has revealed the Lisbon side went after several goalkeepers in the transfer window, and Lukasz Fabianski was one of them. It’s a hugely ambitious idea, and perhaps a little delusional given how good the Poland international was last season.
“I will talk about the market so you understand how we worked,” Bruno Lage told the local press (via Noticias Ao Minuto).
“Vlachodimos was aware of everything, was the first person to be informed that we wanted another goalkeeper to make the position competitive. As we have two young assets, we understood that we could bring more experience to the place and make Vlachodimos more competitive. He understood, listened and we started attacking the market.
“Cillessen was the first to be approached, but in two or three days we realised it was difficult. He preferred to go to Valencia. We dropped this solution in two or three days. I believe in his work, but we need to think about what we want to have. Someone who’s wanted is worth more than one who’s not.”
“The second, fortunately, nobody knew but I will say: Fabianski. One day we realised, not for him, but for financial reasons it’d be impossible. West Ham had recently bought the player.
“With Buffon’s return to Juventus, we attacked Perin and succeeded. Due to a player’s injury, we haven’t reached a final agreement. Finally, we tried Gulácsi. We were told that the club had promised him a different project. However, Leipzig said they wouldn’t negotiate. This is just to see the true, correct and professional way we work.”
Now Benfica were definitely naive to believe they could get Fabianski from West Ham for a cheap price. Portuguese clubs have recently been making some signings from Premier League sides, but normally on loan deals, or getting players who are no longer wanted in England.
Fabianski started all of West Ham’s Premier League games last season, and is on the way to do the same this season, so the London side wouldn’t just let him move so easily.