Manchester United hopeful of signing Brazilian midfielder by Friday

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United are hopeful that the signing of FC Porto midfielder Fernando can be completed by Friday, according to Miguel Delaney from ESPN.

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Reports from Portugal suggest that Fernando may have signed a new contract with Porto but nothing has yet been confirmed and this week, he was absent from training due to a knock he picked up which has helped speculation to continue.

Fernando, who will be out of contract in the summer, was originally linked to United in a swap deal with Anderson and United scouts also watched him in action in January.

Fernando’s agent confirmed he was in talks with Napoli over a deal to sign him and the fact that Fernando now has a Portuguese passport means he is free to move without a work permit.

The 26-year-old Brazilian is a defensive midfielder with title-winning pedigree and Champions League experience but is seen as a stop-gap until the summer where David Moyes will re-ignite interest in primary targets like Arturo Vidal.

Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen believes Fernando’s departure could cost Porto the title and exclusively told The Peoples Person that he is confident Fernando will not leave before Friday.

He said: “I’m pretty confident Fernando will stay and the Portuguese press thinks he’ll sign a new contract with Porto, which would be the proper thing to do.

“Porto have given Fernando a lot and leaving on a free in the summer would be a disrespectful thing to do.

“If Fernando leaves Porto before Friday, it won’t be cheap. He’s Porto’s most important and consistent player.

“Selling Fernando would be like waving goodbye to the title for Porto. No one is even close to his level at Porto at the moment.

“Manchester United or anyone else would have to pay €10m+ to get him now. That’s a lot for a player who’ll be free in the summer.

“But if I were the one in charge for United’s transfers, Fernando would be the first player I’d sign. Relatively cheap, consistent and excellent.

“It’s a high fee but Porto will probably lose the title if he leaves. They have to get some compensation for it. How much is the title worth?”

On paper, he might not be the glamorous midfield signing many had hoped for but he is a player with real calibre and certainly someone who would strengthen our midfield immediately.

UPDATE: Sources in Portugal are now reporting that Fernando has chosen Manchester City or United in an unexpected twist. More to follow…

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