Bruno Fernandes has claimed he agreed a deal with Tottenham this summer – but a move was blocked by Sporting Lisbon.
The Portugal international expressed a desire to play in England earlier in the summer and also attracted interest from Manchester United.
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Tottenham opened talks with Sporting over a deal for Fernandes towards the end of the transfer window, but he was considered as a potential alternative to Giovani Lo Celso who eventually signed on a season-long loan from Real Betis.
"As you all know, Tottenham made a lot of proposals for me. Everything was right with me - or practically should be," the 24-year-old told GQ Portugal.
"I never made any big demands, my manager was always dealing with the financials. It was and is my goal to play in England, Sporting you know that, everyone knows that, and there were conditions for things to be done.
"But Sporting understood that the value was not enough and I have to respect the decision."
Fernandes signed a new five-year contract with Sporting only last summer, although that deal includes a £31m release clause.
If a club had met that fee but Sporting refused to sell, Fernandes would have been due £4.5m in compensation.
Sporting were understood to value Fernandes at around £60m.
Last season, Fernandes enjoyed the best campaign of his career so far, scoring 32 goals in 50 matches for Sporting.
He was also part of the Portugal squad that won the inaugural UEFA Nations League earlier this summer, defeating Netherlands 1-0 in the final.
'Fernandes would thrive in Premier League'
Portuguese football expert Felipe Dias shared a fascinating insight into how Fernandes would cope with the rigours of the Premier League. He told the Transfer Talk podcast the attacking central midfielder has all the attributes required to be a success in England.
He said: "I have no doubt that Fernandes can thrive in the Premier League. This guy can play with and against the best of them.
"I've been a journalist for 20 years and watched football for as long as I can remember - I have never seen a player do what Bruno Fernandes did last season.
"We're talking about an offensive centre midfielder who scored 32 goals. Even in domestic Portuguese football and the Europa League, which admittedly isn't the most glamorous, you cannot deny his talent.
"He is already a ready-made player for the Premier League in my opinion. He is a leader on the pitch, a natural born passer and a deadly finisher with either foot. He is quick, strong and has good positioning.
"He played in Italy for a little while which helped [develop] his tactical sense. I don't have a bad word to say about him as a footballer. At 24 years old, why he has not been transferred yet is the big question."