Fulham were hugely busy in the final hours of the summer transfer window, as manager Slavisa Jokanovic brought in a host of new faces on deadline day.
Sergio Rico, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Luciano Vietto all arrived to boost Jokanovic's squad, but their most controversial deal came with the signing of Joe Bryan.
The left back had starred for Bristol City in the Championship, notching five goals and three assists for the Robins as he attracted major interest this summer.
The 24-year-old was wanted by Premier League clubs but looked all set for a move to Aston Villa late in the window, after Villa agreed a deal with their Championship rivals.
However, there was a late twist in the tale as Bryan ended up snubbing Villa and joining Fulham instead, and he has now discussed his decision to pick Craven Cottage over Villa Park.
Bryan has told The Mirror that he did have his medical with Villa but hadn't actually signed a contract, and put a few bizarre social media rumours about Steve Bruce's quite literal pursuit of him to bed.
Bryan – who has started all three Premier League games for Fulham this season – noted that he wanted to play Premier League football and simply couldn't turn the opportunity down, but claims he was just 15 to 20 minutes away from signing on the dotted line for Villa.
“I went to Aston Villa, I did the medical, I’d signed nothing,” said Bryan. “I hadn’t had any photos. I hadn’t had a steak dinner with Steve Bruce and he didn’t chase me down the motorway.“I read a tweet that said I’d left him in the middle of a dinner after playing a round of golf with him. I don’t play golf and I don’t eat steak.”
“I got a call that Fulham had an offer accepted while I was at Villa and I said ‘I want to play in the Premier League, I can’t turn down this opportunity.’ This was after the medical had occurred. I hadn’t signed a contract or anything tying me to Villa. So I said to the manager [Steve Bruce] that I needed a couple of hours to think. Then we got back to the hotel and in my heart I knew I wanted to play in the Premier League. But I was probably 15, 20 minutes away from signing for Villa,” he added.
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