Manchester United have been linked with many Portuguese-based players recently, but one of the more likely to arrive has always been FC Porto midfielder Fernando.
In the final year of his contract, a move for the Brazilian was made that bit easier when he recently secured Portuguese citizenship.
With no new deal yet signed, a January move for a bargain price – or a summer switch for nothing more than a signing-on fee – looked far more likely than a multi-million-pound deal for any of those with substantial release-clause; the likes of William Carvalho, Eliaquim Mangala and Nemanja Matic to name a few.
But speaking after Porto’s 4-0 win against Olhanense on Friday, Fernando gave an interview that suggested he may not be leaving his current club as soon as many people suspected.
In quotes published by Portuguese newspaper Record, the player said, “We needed a game like this. We got a great result, which gives us motivation for the next games. I hope we continue like this.”
His teammate Carlos Eduardo also drew special praise from Fernando, when the latter said, “I hope he stays at Porto for many years and helps us a lot.”
Was that a hint that Fernando himself will be staying for many years, too? Or do words said in the immediate aftermath of victory mean little in the cold light of day?
For now the player’s fate remains a mystery. But his talk of the future suggests a January move is highly unlikely, and as for a summer switch, well, much may depend on who offers what in the interim, both his current club and those reportedly seeking to sign him.
image: © superleagueformula