Fernando Reges will be under the microscope at the San Paolo tonight.
Reportedly denied a work permit that would’ve sealed a summer move to Everton, the 26-year-old went on to fetch a Portuguese passport just months later - piquing interest in tandem with his expiring contract.
Manchester United were closely linked with a January move for his services whilst crosstown rivals City were believed to be within inches of securing a double deal for both Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala - only to witness its collapse on deadline day.
As if enough hadn’t happened already, Fernando’s agent - also his brother - announced just days after the transfer window slammed shut that this season would be his client’s last at Porto.
That is, only for the man known as ‘The Octopus’ to then sign a new contract at the Estadio do Dragao.
Complicated, no? Well, there’s more.
Speculation has suggested that Fernando’s new deal - featuring a €30m release clause - has been put in place as something of a courtesy to his current employers, to ensure a fee is received for his departure.
The midfield dynamo’s personal manager has even admitted that the player could move on, going so far as to say that a departure is possible at less than the termination clause.
In turn, interest in Fernando certainly isn’t dead - and Serie A clubs are reportedly clamoring to have a look up close during his time in the peninsula.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, opponents Napoli will be evaluating his talents, whilst Juventus, AC Milan and Inter will all be keeping a keen eye on his performance.
Di Marzio maintains that Juventus have previously met with Fernando’s entourage, with the greatest impediment to a move being salary demands in excess of €5m and high agent commissions - Milan and Inter similarly seeing this as a problem.
Still, it doesn’t seem any of the clubs view a scouting trip as doing any harm.
Plenty of drama may yet be on the cards in the hunt for a player whose transfer saga in this season alone could be adapted into a full length novel.
City’s cash stores always keep them in the race, with United’s need of a midfield makeover and supposedly inbound war chest to fund it leaving Old Trafford an enduring option as well.
As you were, Fernando, there’s a match to be played in southern Italy - with eyes from all over watching in anticipation of the summer, of course.