Manchester United’s apparent dallying in the summer transfer window cost them Fabio Coentrao – the paperwork reportedly not completed in time despite a replacement at Real Madrid already lined-up (at least for half an hour).
They also left it very late to secure Marouane Fellaini, which begs the questions just how much did they want him, and how much was it a case of needing him when other deals seemingly failed to materialise?
And now another player could slip through their grasp – at least for now – simply because they did not act swiftly enough.
FC Porto midfielder Fernando is in the final months of his contract, and is also reportedly a target for United – to such an extent that he has been tipped for a move to Old Trafford before Friday’s deadline.
This is despite claims that he is no the verge of agreeing a contract extension in Portugal and, in direct contrast to that, the fact that as things stand the player can agree a pre-contract agreement to move for free next summer.
So why are United linked with a move midway through the season?
Quite simply, because Fernando is exactly the type of player United need – a defensive midfielder with bags of energy and at an age where he is experienced but far from past-it.
But if the reports of interest are true, United have simply not moved quickly enough.
Following Lucho Gonzalez’s departure for Qatari side Al-Rayyan, Porto are highly unlikely to allow another vital midfielder to leave with little time to replace him. In fact they have already reportedly ruled out a move for Steven Defour and he has featured considerably less than Fernando.
Perhaps the latter is the ideal midfield solution for David Moyes, but if United were interested in testing Porto’s resolve now, it appears they have missed the boat.
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