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12 May 2022

Fabrizio Romano’s three most surprising transfers

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There are many variables at play when covering a big transfer story – and things can change fast.

Here I look back at three deals I wasn't expecting and explain what really went on behind the scenes.

Eduardo Camavinga to Real Madrid

One of the deals that surprised me the most was the transfer of Eduardo Camavinga to Real Madrid.

Many clubs wanted the French midfielder – Manchester United had had contact with his agents, as well as Paris Saint-Germain. But I still remember the phone call in the last 48 hours of the summer 2021 transfer market: "Real Madrid are closing on Camavinga, they will sign him immediately".

Camavinga could have left the club as a free agent the following summer, but he changed his mind out of respect for Rennes. He wanted the club that had helped him since he was a child to receive a payout; a human factor that changed a negotiation.

Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain

Leo Messi's move to Paris Saint-Germain was one of the most surprising in recent years.

Barcelona had already scheduled an official announcement for his five year extended contract: it was all set. Then came the information leaked by the club that it could no longer sign the contract due to La Liga regulations. As a result, the situation around Leo Messi and Barcelona collapsed in a few hours.

Paris Saint-Germain was very quick in the following hours to contact Messi, his lawyers and his father Jorge. An incredible twist that came from nowhere.

Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United

The deal I will never forget is Bruno Fernandes' move to Manchester United.

I spent an entire summer denying a deal for Bruno at Man United despite the rumours, but when I announced the agreement reached in the January transfer market the fans went wild. An important detail made the announcement all the more exciting: the photo of Bruno Fernandes and his agent on the plane ready to fly to Manchester and sign the contract.

Interesting fact: at one point Manchester City also wanted the Portuguese midfielder, but Manchester United was in control and leading the race. All of this together with Bruno's first photo in Manchester was historic to me.

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