Bruno Fernandes has said he rejected the suggestion by his agent to earn more money at Sporting CP after re-signing with the club, suggesting doing so would be “blackmail”.
The midfielder, 23, was one of nine players who quit the Lisbon club after a group of angry supporters stormed the club’s training facilities and attacked the playing staff, leaving Dutch striker Bas Dost with a gash on his head.
But on Tuesday Fernandes, who was in the Portugal squad at the World Cup, signed a new contract with Sporting until 2023, which features a release clause of £88m.
The player also suggested he turned down better-paying offers from other clubs and that Sporting have guaranteed improved security for him, other players and their families.
And while the youngster has admitted that training ground incident “left its marks”, he believes things are now looking up at the club.
“It doesn’t matter who is to blame, now it is over. Sporting is opening a new page and I believe it will be very good,” he told a news conference, via Reuters.
“What I said was that I did not want to improve the contract… I have done no blackmail. If it were for the financial side, I would not be here,” he said.
Sporting CP’s new club president Jose Sousa Cintra believes Fernandes’ attitude towards the club and his contracts make him “a case apart, the best as a player and a person”.
Fernandes made 33 league appearances last term for Sporting CP, scoring 11 times, assisting a further eight.