Fernando Forestieri faces an uncertain future at Sheffield Wednesday after refusing to play against Norwich City.
The striker, who scored 15 goals as the Owls made it to the Championship Play-Off final last year, was a notable absentee in Saturday’s goalless draw at Carrow Road.
Forestieri refused to travel to Norwich, claiming his “mind was not in the right place” after being heavily linked with moves to Derby County and Newcastle United. It is understood the Rams had a £7m offer rejected for the 26-year-old last week.
Boss Carlos Carvalhal told The Star: “I have played football since I was 11-years-old and never seen anything like this.
“Fernando trained as normal in the week and played very well. We prepared the game on Friday morning and put the players in the position. We practiced corners and free-kicks.
“When we were ready to go to the bus, he refused to travel.
“Again, I talked with him because I like him a lot. He’s a nice guy and a good professional. He said he didn’t want to go.”
Carvalhal blames the situation on agent power in modern football.
“It’s the money that makes the personalities,” he said.
The Portuguese chief claims he and club captain Glenn Loovens had to convince Forestieri play in their league opener versus Aston Villa. Forestieri went on to grab an 85th minute winner.
“Fernando came to talk to me before the Aston Villa game and said his head wasn’t right,” said Carvalhal, who expected him to report in for training yesterday. “He refused to play.
“I talked with him and so did Glenn. At that moment, he changed his mind so he played against Aston Villa.”
Forestieri has three years left to run on his Owls contract and Carvalhal is adamant the Argentine-born player is staying put.
Carvalhal said: “When I talked with the chairman, he was very clear that he didn’t want to sell any player.
“Fernando belongs to us. We don’t want to sell any player.”
A tweet from Forestieri’s agent, 7OR0 Sports, yesterday read: “The only team Fernando wants to play for in the Championship this season is SWFC. He didn’t travel for personal reasons.”