Portugal international William Carvalho rejected a plea from his former manager Marco Silva while turning down a move to Championship leaders Fulham, as reported by ABC de Sevilla.
Now, the personal touch worked once for Silva this summer.
The former Watford boss was at the heart of a deal that saw Rodrigo Muniz swap Fulham for Flamengo, convincing one of Brazil’s hottest prospects to reject the advances of a whole host of clubs from Atletico Madrid to Middlesbrough while drawing comparisons with his one-time Vicarage Road starlet Richarlison.
But while Muniz is wide-eyed up-and-comer, a hungry 20-year-old talent desperate to make a name for himself this side of the Atlantic, Carvalho is at a very different stage of his footballing journey.
Why did William Carvalho turn down Fulham?
At the age of 29 and with 68 international caps under his belt, convincing Carvalho to join a Championship club – albeit one with title ambitions – was always going to be an altogether more difficult task.
Particularly when an expensively-assembled Real Betis side now coached by Manuel Pellegrini qualified for the Europa League last season.
Carvalho has Thursday night trips to Celtic Park and Bayer Leverkusen to look forward too.
And, according to reports coming out of Andalusia, the powerhouse midfielder rebuffed Silva’s advances, turning down his one-time Sporting Lisbon boss in favour of European football at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
It is understood that Fulham wanted to sign the £18 million, £40,000-a-week Carvalho on loan with an option to buy, a clause that would probably only be exercised if the Cottagers – as expected – seal a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Silva, at least, managed to get a deal for his old Watford favourite Nathaniel Chalobah over the line, snapping up the one-time England man on a free-transfer during the final few minutes of the transfer window.
Carvalho, meanwhile, was also linked with a move to Norwich City before the Canaries managed to snap up the snarling Mathias Normann from FC Rostov instead.