Shakhtar Donetsk’s talismanic midfielder, Fernandinho, has admitted he will be playing for a Manchester club in January, but has yet to elaborate on which team.
The Brazil international has been instrumental in Shakhtar’s superb Champions League effort to reach the knockout stages eliminating the current holders Chelsea in the process. He has since been tracked by some of Europe’s biggest clubs including both Manchester giants.
Fernandinho is seen as a particularly valuable investment as he is part of a dying breed in modern footballers, a box-to-box midfielder. His blistering pace and long range shooting is reminiscent of a young Steven Gerrard, which makes for an interesting proposition to any potential suitor. Exceptional at both attacking and defending, he looks the complete package although at 27, it remains to be seen how long he will be able to maintain this painstaking role.
It’s no secret United have struggled in the midfield department in recent years. Failure to capture their primary transfer targets such as Hazard and Sneijder, has resulted in the club compromising on cheaper players, like Kagawa and Powell. Fortunately the old guard have been sensational and the likes of Scholes and Giggs maintaining their fitness has been crucial during the transition phase.
Sir Alex said recently of the January window:
No, the January transfer market has never been the best transfer market and that has been proven over the years with very few big transfers happening. All the big transfers happen in the summer.
But given what the player might offer United and the interest welling up, might this be a smokescreen? Sir Alex playing games with the press? Surely not.
Manchester City on the other hand have a problem United can only dream about, with so many international players and no European football to rotate the squad, the challenge is keeping everyone happy and trying to make room for any additions.
After a disappointing summer window, Mancini will be keen to have more say in the club’s signings, but will know he has to get rid of some dead-weight first. The likes of Balotelli and Dzeko may have to make way for a new striker, and if new-comers Nasri and Garcia don’t show any signs of improvement, then an early transfer might make space in the squad for Fernandinho.