Everton were thought to be close to landing the versatile Brazilian midfielder close to the end of the last transfer window before he pledged his commitment to Porto, telling the club’s fans they could count on him.
However, Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, has claimed he won’t be signing a new deal beyond 2014 which means the Portuguese club will have to sell him this January if they want to get a fee.
The same reports suggests that Inter Milan are one of the interested parties in the defensive and central midfielder, ready to drown out the competition with an initial bid of €8 million.
“It is at least a year that Inter dreams Fernando - the obsession has always been him, the central midfielder of the Port that would be perfect in the midfield pivot of Walter Mazzarri,” reads a translation of the report.
If the player is realistically available this winter then Roberto Martinez would surely be interested in re-visiting the prospect of signing Fernando and trying to tie him down on a long term deal.
There doesn’t seem to have been an issue between Everton and Porto or the player from the summer, which suggests that his desire to stay with Porto was one based on loyalty and European football rather than disrespect or negative views of the Goodison Park club.
The problem for the Toffees as is so often the case with transfers, is the financial angle. Inter Milan can throw some cash at this deal if other sides, including Everton, come into the equation, pushing the fee up and leaving clubs with no choice other than to back off.
The report also suggests that Inter have been scouting the player in recent matches including the Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid, which shows how keen they are on getting their man.
Martinez’ club would much prefer to let things wind down to next summer and try to sign the player for free if he really doesn’t have any intention of signing a new deal with the Portuguese side.
Everton also have another option and it’s something that plenty of other sides will be doing with players all over January this winter; a pre-contract agreement.
“That players due in June of the new year may sign a pre-contract from the day following the end of the January transfer window,” reads part of the story.
If Everton can get the 26-year-old to sign an agreement to join them when his contract does expire, they will bypass any bidding war which could be created although if the report is accurate and the player isn’t going to sign a new deal, this winter is the last chance Porto have to get a fee for him.