Manuel Pellegrini believes Fernandinho will force his way into the Brazil squad for the summer’s World Cup.
The midfielder has only won five caps for his country and hoped his 2013 move from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk to the higher-profile Premier League would help bring him to the attention of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
But though Fernandinho has been in fine form as Manchester City have challenged for silverware on four fronts, the 28-year-old has not represented his country for almost two years.
City manager Pellegrini said: “I am really surprised that Fernandinho is not in Brazilian team so far. I am sure in the future he will be because he is a top player. “
Scolari has preferred to select Chelsea’s Ramires, Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva, Tottenham’s Paulinho, Wolfsburg’s Luiz Gustavo and Lazio’s Hernanes in the centre of midfield, but Pellegrini feels Fernandinho can make a late run into the Brazil party for the World Cup, which they will host.
He added: “I think he will be [in it]. I suppose that Scolari sees all the games of Manchester City and Fernandinho is one of the best players this season.”
City face Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday and Pellegrini denied that Fernandinho, who has started 29 matches this season, could suffer from fatigue towards the end of the campaign.
The Chilean said: “He has not played the most minutes for our team. Yaya Toure has played more. Fernandinho has played a lot of matches also but I repeat we are doing a good rotation in that sense so they all have minutes and rest.”