Manchester City appeared to have pipped both Liverpool and Manchester United to the signing of Porto midfielder Fernando, according to the Daily Star.

Manuel Pellegrini attempted to sign the midfielder during the January transfer window, but was unwilling to pay £8million for a player whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

Now it appears the City boss has won the race to sign the leggy midfielder – nicknamed ‘the Octopus’ – on a free transfer.

Porto have been desperately trying to get the 26-year-old to sign a new contract worth £50k a week, but Fernando has made it clear he will not be doing so.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Italian giants Juventus have all expressed an interest, however City are privately claiming he will be joining them in the summer.

The player’s international future has also become unclear recently.

He was born in Brazil, and has represented the Under-20 side, but is yet to earn a senior call up.

However, he has recently become a Portuguese citizen, and has indicated he would be interested in being considered for their World Cup squad – for the summer’s tournament in Brazil.

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