Everton lose to Valencia in chase for Fernandes

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Valencia have reached an agreement to sign the Portugal midfielder Manuel Fernandes on a six-year deal from Benfica, the Primera Liga side said yesterday.

Spanish media reported that Valencia were likely to have paid between ¿12-15m (£8-10m] for the 21-year-old international. Valencia said the agreement was dependent on the player passing a medical.

Fernandes, a defensive midfielder, came up through the youth ranks at Benfica and helped the Portuguese side win the league in 2005. He had loan spells at Portsmouth and Everton last season and was reported to be close to agreeing a permanent move to the Merseyside club.

Valencia were due to open their league campaign at home to regional rivals Villarreal later yesterday.

The prognosis for the Sevilla player Antonio Puerta remains "very serious" following his collapse and loss of consciousness during his side's 4-1 win against Getafe on Saturday.

"Antonio Puerta remains under sedation in the intensive care unit, with assisted ventilation and haemodynamic instability," said a medical report issued by the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville. "We will issue another report [today] unless there are further incidents to report."

The Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido said doctors were becoming more optimistic for the 22-year-old Spain international.

"The player's life was saved thanks to the rapid intervention of the club doctors and the Red Cross because he had a number of cardiac arrests," Del Nido was quoted as saying on the club's website.

"Despite the severity of the situation his situation appears to be evolving favourably and the doctors are becoming more optimistic."

Puerta collapsed after jogging back towards his own goal 35 minutes into the game at the Sanchez Pizjuan on Saturday. Team mates and medical staff rushed to his side and were seen preventing him from swallowing his tongue as he lost consciousness.

He was able to walk from the pitch but doctors said that he collapsed again in the changing rooms and had to be given cardiac resuscitation before being taken to hospital.

Milan, Sevilla's opponents in next week's European Super Cup issued a statement on Sunday wishing the player a speedy recovery.

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