Thomas Tuchel says he tried to sign one of 'best midfielders in the world' Bruno Fernandes at PSG
Portugal international Bruno Fernandes has proved to be a brilliant signing for Manchester United, but Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed how he attempted to sign the attacking midfielder while in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. Fernandes opted instead to head to Old Trafford and United have benefited.
Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring to give the side a 2-0 lead during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Real Sociedad and Manchester United at Allianz Stadium
Chelsea entertain Manchester United on Sunday, and the look and feel of the Red Devils side could have been somewhat different after Blues boss Thomas Tuchel revealed he tried to sign Bruno Fernandes while at Paris Saint-Germain.
Fernandes has been an irresistible force for United since making the move from Sporting CP in January of last year.
His goals, assists and all-round drive are a big part of why United are second in the Premier League table, but the Portugal midfielder could easily be a PSG player right now.
"With my first sporting director in Paris, Antero Henrique, a Portuguese sporting director, and he knew [Fernandes] very well," Tuchel said.
We fought hard to have a connection to him and to bring him to our team. I got made aware of him more in detail, so we watched more and more games about him and followed him and tried to be in touch with him to make it happen.
"Obviously, he decided [to sign for Manchester United] and I was never personally in touch with him, but we tried and he went another way. [It is] bad for us that we have to play against him."
Tuchel is a huge admirer of a player who has 15 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this term.
"The impact he has had is indescribable and unbelievable," Tuchel said.
To come from Portugal, from a competitive team - a big club but not from the strongest league - and step to one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and the strongest league in Europe... I have nothing but the biggest respect for this guy.
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"It is outstanding. He is one of the best midfielders in the world, and he has a huge, huge impact and to have this as a single person in football, you must be absolutely top level because this is almost impossible."