In Focus: Newcastle target Fernando would be the perfect midfield addition

According to reports in The Sun, Newcastle United are hopeful that they will sign Manchester City midfielder Fernando in a £5m deal this summer despite City valuing him at £8m, but they could face competition for the Brazilian from Premier League rivals Southampton and Bournemouth.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Magpies manager Rafa Benitez is keen to significantly strengthen his squad following his side’s return to the Premier League, and the Spaniard wants to avoid being embroiled in a relegation battle next season.

The Sun say he has identified the 29-year-old as a potential arrival, with the Brazilian free to leave the Etihad after falling down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola.

City want £8m for the player who has just a year remaining on his contract, but the Tyneside outfit believe they can complete a £5m deal.

How did Fernando do last season?

The midfielder fell behind the likes of Yaya Toure, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the battle for a spot in the centre of midfield, but he still made 27 appearances in all competitions.

Would he be a good signing for Newcastle?

He certainly would be.

Benitez will know that he needs to add Premier League experience to his squad in order to boost their chances of avoiding being involved in a relegation battle next term, and Fernando would be an excellent addition in a crucial part of the pitch.

The 29-year-old has made 64 top flight appearances since moving to the Etihad from FC Porto three years ago, while he also featured in Europe and won a whole host of trophies during his time with the Portuguese outfit.

That know-how and winning mentality could mean that the Brazilian would be an influential figure if he did make the move to St James’ Park.

Will Newcastle win the race for his signature?

It’s difficult to say.

While Southampton and Bournemouth are rumoured to be interested, if Newcastle have made the biggest effort to sign they could win the race on that basis.

Fernando would play a similar role to that of Oriol Romeu for the Saints, which puts a potential deal in doubt, with Bournemouth likely to be a more likely south coast destination.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, Newcastle appear to be the frontrunners for Fernando and if they get him for £5m, it could prove to be a bargain buy.