The Citizens failed with a deadline day move for the midfielder, but can agree a pre-contract deal with him as his current contract expires at the end of the season.
Manuel Pellegrini made a move to sign the 26-year-old on deadline day, in a double deal that would have also seen centre back team-mate Eliaquim Mangala make the switch to the Etihad.
City remain the favourites to sign the highly-rated Mangala, and will also fancy their chances of landing Fernando on a free transfer, after he is understood to have told the Portuguese giants he has no intention of signing a new deal.
Manchester United and Liverpool have both been linked with the midfielder nicknamed the Octopus – because of his leggy playing style – but the player’s representatives remain hopeful of reaching a pre-contract agreement with City.
Pellegrini paid the price for failing to add to his midfield options in January, when Fernandinho was forced to miss the crucial clash with Chelsea through injury.
The Chilean played centre back Martin Demichelis in the holding midfield role, as Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners at the Etihad.