Portsmouth confirm loan of Fernandes but insert escape clause

Click to follow

Portsmouth have signed Manuel Fernandes on loan from Benfica and the midfielder could eventually become the club's record signing at £7m if he proves his fitness at Fratton Park.

Pompey have the option of signing the 20-year-old but it is understood there is an escape clause which will allow them to terminate the move if the highly-rated Portuguese youngster fails to recover from a groin injury.

Fernandes has been in the care of Pompey's medical team for the past month, having the injury assessed after he failed two physical examinations connected with the transfer.

Although sources in Portugal put Fernandes' value at nearer £10m, Pompey are believed to have negotiated a lower figure based on the player's progress with them. The fee would still easily beat the £4.4m they paid French club Auxerre for striker Benjani Mwaruwari.

Portsmouth have finally decided to press ahead with the Fernandes deal to beat tonight's transfer deadline.

Fernandes, who has two caps for Portugal, is not expected to be match-fit for two months but, if he comes through that period, he should make an impact in Harry Redknapp's squad.

* Celtic have completed the signing of 30-year-old former Everton midfielder Thomas Gravesen from Real Madrid on a three-year contract.