The Brazilian enforcer – also a rumoured target for Liverpool – is out of contract in the summer, and is available for a cut-price figure this month as his employers seek to ensure that they recoup a fee for his signature rather than lose him for free.
After snapping up Juan Mata for a club record fee to address his attacking concerns, David Moyes is keen to move for a holding midfielder to support his side’s relatively weak backline.
Fernando is seen as an ideal candidate, with his recent qualification for a Portuguese passport negating the need for a potentially tricky work permit application.
The 26-year-old has been a key part of his club’s first-team for some time, and helped them to Europa League success under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas in 2011.
He is thought to be keen on a big move, and United are ready to offer him regular action as they attempt to salvage their season.
Liverpool are watching, but it looks unlikely that the Reds will make any major moves before the transfer deadline passes.