Everton and Manchester United hopeful as Brazilian target switches to Portugal

Liverpool are also said to be keen on Everton and Manchester United target Fernando - who is all set to play for Portugal and not Brazil.

This summer saw FC Porto midfielder Fernando, known as The Octupus, linked with several moves away from Portugal - with Everton the team said to be nearest to snapping him up.

In fact the deal to join Everton became very close, with Roberto Martinez even said to have travelled down to London in an attempt to secure the player a Work Permit - that was unsuccessful.

Then Manchester United reportedly harboured an interest in the player according to several reports earlier this month.

But the fact remains, that as a Brazilian national with zero caps at senior level, the chances of him getting a work permit are practically nil.

But that could very soon no longer be a problem - as Fernando is reportedly set to do a ‘Diego Costa’ and turn his back on Selecao.

Fernando has been living in Portugal for seven years now, and despite being a member of the Brazilian Under-20 team that won the 2007 South American Youth title he is said to be considering switching allegiance, Deco style, to Portugal.

A report in A Bola carries quotes from the players agent that state he has now officially made himself available for the Portuguese national team - meaning he must become a Portuguese citizen.

'In addition to being available (to play for Portugal), Fernando is grateful to the country for seven years ... He has his own residence and a daughter who was born in Portugal. He is very happy to have come here, for the country to have hosted and provided everything so well up to this day.'’

It is a very familiar situation to Diego Costa, another Premier League target, who has recently caused uproar in Brazil with his decision to play international football for Spain in the future.

The beauty of it all is that as a Portuguese citizen, Fernando no longer needs a Work Permit to play in the UK as he is an EU citizen.

With no new contract said to be on the table in Portugal, MAnchester United, Everton and the recently linked Liverpool might now actually have a chance of signing ‘The Octopus’.

image: © Jason Bagley

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