Bruno Fernandes could have been on the opposite side in today’s Europa League clash as Milan they tried to sign him a couple twice in the near past, Calciomercato.com reports. The Portuguese midifielder spent five years in Italy, as he began his pro career at Novara and then quickly moved to Udinese. The Rossoneri first made an attempt in 2016, when he had started to show flashes, before he transferred to Sampdoria.
The more serious pursuit came in the summer of 2019 after Fernandes blossomed at Sporting. The site indicates that director Paolo Maldini insistently scouted him that year and reached out to his agent Jorge Mendes to begin negotiating. Milan wanted to include André Silva in the deal in order to reduce the price tag. However, Sporting asked for €60M without any swap and so the two sides could not reach agreement. Fernandes then joined Manchester United the following January for a €55M fee plus €25M bonuses.
The player explained his lack of success in Italy in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport: “I was super young and had yet to grow physically. It is not easy to play as no.10 in Italy. Paulo Dybala is an example in that regard. Everybody expects something special from him, he is always judged harshly. Udinese was very important in my career, even though the coaching changes did not help. Francesco Guidolin was a great mentor, I think things would have gone differently if he had stayed at the helm. I am very appreciative of my time in Italy.”