Manchester City close to signing £30m Fernandinho after player has medical

Manuel Pellegrini's installation as Manchester City's new manager is still to be formally confirmed but team restructuring at the Etihad Stadium continues apace with Fernandinho, the Brazilian midfielder, close to completing a move from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fernandinho was spotted arriving at a private Manchester hospital for a medical on Wednesday morning as the transfer entered its final stages. Strong tackling, athletic and capable of operating as a deep-lying playmaker, the 28-year-old has been on City's radar for almost a year but the £42.5m buy-out clause in his contract was initially deemed far too steep.

With a compromise – around £30m – apparently agreed, Fernandinho will join Jesús Navas, the 27-year-old Spanish wide man, who is signing for Pellegrini's new-look team from Sevilla for a fee rising to £27m, at City. An "old-fashioned" orthodox winger, Navas has clearly overcome the problems with acute homesickness and anxiety which hampered him earlier in his career.

Having left Málaga, Pellegrini is currently finalising his deal at City with the appointment scheduled to be confirmed by the beginning of next week at the very latest.

While Roberto Mancini's successor dots the i's and crosses the t's on his new contract, Txiki Begiristain, City's director of football, and Ferran Soriano, the chief executive, are ensuring the club do not repeat last summer's mistakes and fall behind rivals in the transfer market.

Indeed Fernandinho and Navas could soon be joined by the Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and the Málaga midfielder Isco as Pellegrini aims to add adventure, pace and fluency Mancini's old ensemble.

His revamped side will be expected to gel during a hectic close-season tour embracing fixtures in South Africa, Hong Kong and Germany before concluding with a game against Arsenal in the Finnish capital Helsinki on 10 August.

Powered by article was written by Louise Taylor, for The Guardian on Wednesday 5th June 2013 16.50 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Mark Freeman

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