CITY BOLSTER MIDFIELD OPTIONS WITH BRAZILIAN FERNANDO
Porto midfielder Fernando has finally completed his move to Manchester City after the news was confirmed to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission by his club.
The statement said: “FC Porto hereby informs the market that it has reached an agreement with Manchester City for the permanent transfer of professional footballer Fernando Reges for €15m.”
The 26-year old defensive midfielder will cost City £12m and will take the number six shirt vacated by Joleon Lescott next season.
City had been linked with a move for the midfielder in January along with his Porto team mate Eliaquim Mangala but the move fell through after the club baulked at Porto’s demands.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini is restricted to a £49m net transfer spend this summer due to FIFA Financial Fair Play regulations and chose to spend some of it on another midfielder despite having the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Javi Garcia, James Milner and Jack Rodwell all capable of playing in central midfield.
Question marks over the future of 31-year old midfield powerhouse Toure had been raised after remarks made by Toure and his agent Dmitri Seluk starting with a controversy over a perceived lack of respect by the club over a birthday cake and continuing recently with remarks about an apparent lack of compassionate leave to see his seriously ill brother Ibrahim Toure who died of cancer in Manchester where he was being treated for cancer while brothers Kolo and Yaya were at the World Cup in Brazil with the Ivory Coast.
As with the eventual departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid last summer, the purchase of Fernando could mean an exit for one or more midfielders. Rodwell seems to be the most likely but a summer bid for Toure by Paris Saint Germain has been mooted and the purchase of Fernando could be seen as strengthening by City in advance of a high profile departure.
City are still looking for a central defender to replace the departed Lescott and while new signing Bacary Sagna, who arrived on a free as City’s first summer signing, could play as a central defender City have been looking again at Mangala and Roma defender Mehdi Benatia as an alternative although both have admitted that they would prefer to join London-based Chelsea.
City have been expected to spend the rest of their reduced summer budget on a defender but they will also have to maintain their English quota for their forthcoming Champions League campaign.
Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott were released by the club and it seems that Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and even Micah Richards could be following them through the Etihad exit door before the end of the transfer window.
Home grown Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata signed a new two year contract to keep him at the club until 2016 and but a clear out would leave City with just him, Joe Hart, James Milner, Gael Clichy (who was home-grown at Arsenal), and Richard Wright as the home-grown talent for the Champions League next season just barely qualifying for the reduced minimum.