Transfer news: Fernando bound for Manchester City after agreement to sign Porto midfielder is reached

City tried to sign the midfielder during the January transfer window

Manchester City have reached an informal agreement to sign the Porto midfielder Fernando in June, when they will seek to bolster the midfield which was exposed for its lack of depth in the home defeat to Chelsea that kept the title race wide open.

City’s attempts to do business with the Portuguese club may prove challenging, given that the selling club’s president Pinto da Costa is understood to be furious about their approach for the £15m player in the last 48 hours of the January transfer window. Clubs hate unanticipated eleventh-hour approaches for their players and days before the City move Porto thought they had finally tied Fernando to a lucrative new contract to protect their financial interest this summer. The Independent understands that an indignant Da Costa has told Porto coach Paulo Fonseca that Fernando should be excluded from the side until he leaves for City in the simmer, though Fonseca’s need for the player is likely to prevail.

City’s own need of Fernando, a holding midfielder in the same mould of Javi Garcia, was laid bare in Monday night’s 1-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho’s side - when the training ground groin injury sustained by Brazilian Fernandinho, 24 hours earlier, forced manager Manuel Pellegrini to turn to 33-year-old Martin Demichelis, who broadly failed to cope with Chelsea’s level of pace and invention. Porto refused to sell Fernando last Friday because they had already lost key midfielder, Lucho Gonzalez, to Qatari side Al Rayyan.

It emerged on Tuesday that Fernandinho may be back for City within two weeks, in time for Barcelona’s visit in the Champions League last 16 home leg on February 18. But City still need reinforcements in that area of the pitch, with Garcia lacking the calibre and Jack Rodwell not demonstrating the long-term fitness to provide the anchor.

The new contract Porto have spent two years trying to tie Fernando – which remained unsigned because of the prospective City move - it is likely to be concluded now, though the Portuguese club may now be unwilling to buy out the 26-year-old’s third party ownership. Doing so would make the transfer of the player more smooth this summer.

 It was the same complex ownership structure which is understood to have made City’s attempt to sign Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala at the same time as Fernando difficult, late last week. The player is 56 per cent owned by Porto and 44 per cent by a company connected to the agent Jorge Mendes, making it difficult for City to know how high and with whom to bid when they tried to conclude a last-minute bid for the French defender.

Though City are expected to go back in for the 22-year-old again this summer, they may find difficulty as Mangala is understood to favour a move to Paris Saint Germain in his native France. Mangala joined the Mendes stable of players two months ago and there are suggestions in Portugal that the player may already have reached a preliminary agreement to move to the French capital this summer. He wanted to stay in Porto for the remainder of the season because he feared he would not be a first choice centre half at City in the second half of this season - and would so struggle to make France’s summer World Cup squad.

 

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor