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United more likely to sign Fernando

Manchester United are still aiming to sign a midfielder before Friday’s transfer deadline -- but are virtually resigned to leaving their main targets until the summer.

Fernando challenges Benfica's Enzo Perez.
Fernando challenges Benfica's Enzo Perez.

United hope to bring in Fernando from FC Porto, but that represents something of a stop-gap after initially planning on a move for one of Arturo Vidal, Ilkay Gundogan, Toni Kroos and Patrick Herrmann -- as well as a left-back.

As recently as Monday morning, United sources maintained there was a surprisingly strong chance of bringing in Vidal from Juventus in this window. While the deal is understood to not yet be 100 percent dead, the Chilean midfielder himself stated on Monday he will “stay in Turin” and his signing is now seen as highly unlikely for January.

United had been prepared for such an eventuality with all of their primary targets, and the realistic plan was always that the majority of business would be done at the end of the season.

Although they were still trying to force an opportunity of signing someone like Vidal now if possible, Yohan Cabaye was viewed as a viable short-term option to solve a midfield area that badly needs work. Paris Saint-Germain’s purchase of the French playmaker from Newcastle United, however, has seen David Moyes turn his attention back to Fernando of FC Porto.

While the Portuguese club are understood to have initially given United a flat “no” when first inquiries for the 26-year-old were made, United feel they can leverage the situation due to Fernando’s contract expiring next summer.

There have been no developments in United’s interest in Luke Shaw of Southampton.
 

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