Unlikely boost in Manchester City’s pursuit of 26-year-old target

Manchester City may be able to complete a transfer for FC Porto's Fernando much quicker after the player was refused the chance to play for Portugal.

FC Porto midfielder Fernando has been refused permission to play for Portugal at this summer’s World Cup, paving the way for Manchester City to complete his signing early should they still be interested.

Back in January, the Blues were linked with a double swoop for Fernando and his club teammate Eliaquim Mangala. But before the fans could get too excited, the move was off, with some claiming it had been little more than a rumour and others suggesting the Portuguese side wanted more than the Blues were prepared to offer.

Either way, both players continue to be linked with a move to the Etihad, and following Fernando’s failure to be allowed to play for Portugal, City may be able to push a deal through considerably quicker than if he had spent a large portion of the summer in Brazil.

In World Cup years, the majority of transfers take longer than ever, with players understandably keen to focus their attentions on international matters before deciding on the club futures. But that will seemingly not be an issue for Fernando, after Fifa rejected his appeal due to the fact that he had played for his homeland’s under-20 side.

It will come as small mercy that – should he wish – he could fast-track a deal to the Blues before the summer’s carnival of football kicks off.

But Manuel Pellegrini may be wise to move quickly, with a number of other clubs sure to be interested in a fantastic midfielder who is unlucky to be missing out on football’s biggest tournament next month.

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