Manchester City haven't yet managed to tie up a deal for Porto star Fernando and the Italian media believe the delay may open the door to competition from Serie A.
The Brazilian defensive midfielder, who is under contract at Porto until 2017, has been a revelation since arriving from Vila Nova in 2007.
After a season on loan to Estrella Amadora, he asserted himself as a mainstay in Porto's midfield in the 2008-09 campaign and has stayed there ever since.
In 2010-11's treble-winning season, Fernando played over 3000 minutes of football and turned in a Herculean effort to steer his side to glory.
Manchester City have been hovering around Fernando and teammate Eliaquim Mangala for some time with reports that the Premier League champions could make a bumper joint bid of around £40m.
But Fernando's agent has made it clear that nothing is concrete and City could have to fight for their man.
"At the moment no signatures have been put on paper."
It is being suggested in Italy that Fernando may appeal to Juventus, Inter or Napoli as all three sides are planning to launch extensive summer transfer campaigns.
However, Man City remain overwhelming favourites to land their target and could now move a little more quickly to prevent being overtaken.