Manchester City defensive midfielder Fernandinho has revealed both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were interested in signing him this summer, Sky Sports understands.
Fernandinho, 28, joined City from Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk in a £30 million deal earlier this summer.
The Brazil international, who is hoping the Sky Blues can challenge their infamous neighbours (Manchester United) in the ongoing battle of Manchester, has acknowledged Chelsea and Spurs were keen on obtaining his signature ahead of City’s first English Premier League fixture of the 2013/14 campaign.
“I think City are on the way to a similar level to Manchester United. We saw that in the summer when we went on tour – we had loads of supporters. It’s going to be a huge club,” said Fernandinho.
“I know there were negotiations between Shakhtar and Chelsea. I don’t know the details of those talks because I had already started speaking with City.
“Shakhtar made it clear that I was coming to Manchester. They told me that they had refused an offer.
“There was also a stage a year ago when I spoke to people from Tottenham but nothing came of that.”
Fernandinho is expected to start alongside Yaya Toure against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, with Gareth Barry and Jack Rodwell fated for bench roles.
City are huge favourites to take all three points on Monday, and rightfully so. The Sky Blues won this corresponding fixture convincingly, 4-0, last season, with Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany on the scoresheet.
Keeping in mind that City are unbeaten in their last 13 league fixtures against the Magpies (11-2-0) and that Newcastle have never won a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, betting on Alan Pardew’s side to win would be extremely foolish.
Sessegnon not for sale
Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has insisted Stephane Sessegnon is not for sale amid reports linking the Benin international with a move to Qatar Stars League side El Jaish SC, according to Sky Sports.
Sessegnon, who has been linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light this summer, started the Black Cats’ first league fixture of the season against Fulham on Saturday, playing 70 minutes before being substituted for Ji Dong-Won in a 1-0 loss to the Cottagers.
Di Canio has moved to rubbish reports linking the Benin international with an exit from the North East.
“I have to be clear, I do not want to sell Sessegnon,” said Di Canio.
“If anyone wants him, they would have to bring me a quality striker and a central midfield player.
“Otherwise, for me, he is not for sale.”
Sessegnon, formerly of Paris Saint-Germain, tallied seven goals and three assists in 35 league appearances for Sunderland last season.