Airport interviews. These are a classic element of the transfer market, especially when we get to the final days of the summer window.
No press officers, no scenarios, no script. Just journalists chasing and bothering people while they look for their boarding gate.
Today, it was time for Sporting president Frederico Varandas to be chased at Lisbon Airport, and most of the talk was obviously about Bruno Fernandes.
Varandas probably read the Portuguese newspapers this morning, where it was claimed Manchester United are about to bid €55m or €62m for the midfielder, and he was able to repeat those exact amounts.
“I don’t know if there are many or if there are few [interested clubs],” Frederico Varandas told RTP. “What I know, a lot has been spoken of values, coming to the press, €55m, €62m… for that he doesn’t leave, for sure.”
Asked if Sporting are making more signings this summer, he said: “If Bruno Fernandes leaves, players with quality will come. But if Bruno leaves.”
At the end of the interview, Varandas was again asked if there’s an official bid for Fernandes, and already far from the journalists, he was able to say ‘no’ and walk away.
As we’ve explained previously, it doesn’t makes sense for Manchester United or anyone else to submit an official until they have agreement with Sporting or want a transfer war. That’s because any rejection of a bid standing at €35m or more would see the Portuguese club have to pay their player €5m and also boost his wages.
Since we started covering the Bruno Fernandes saga, all of the updates were given in morning newspapers, with no other news during the day. So it’s good to finally get something fresh out of Sporting’s president.