In fact the deal to join Everton became very close, with Roberto Martinez even said to have travelled down to London in an attempt to secure the player a Work Permit - that was unsuccessful.
Then Manchester United reportedly harboured an interest in the player according to several reports earlier this month.
But the fact remains, that as a Brazilian national with zero caps at senior level, the chances of him getting a work permit are practically nil.
But what if he didn't need one?
A couple of months ago the talented box-to-box midfielder confirmed his intention to receive his Portuguese citizenship. He maintained at the time that this was not simply to play for Portugal - but that he felt Portuguese as well as Brazilian.
Fernando has been living in Portugal for seven years now, and despite being a member of the Brazilian Under-20 team that won the 2007 South American Youth title he is said to be considering switching allegiance.
Now that has been ratified and Fernando is indeed a Portuguese citizen - as he confirmed on his official Facebook page.
With much pride ... Officially PORTUGUESE"
But while United fans will probably not care less which nation he plays for - getting him to Old Trafford has now become much easier as a consequence.
He no longer needs a Work Permit - as he is now a citizen of an EU state he is free to work in any other EU country whenever he wishes, meaning no trips to the Home Office for Moyes if he really wanted him.
And why not?
His contract expires at the end of the season and he does both the good, the bad and the ugly in central midfield - he is just the player United need.
image: © Jason Bagley