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By ESPN Staff

Everton anger at Fernandes snub

Everton have been stunned by Manuel Fernandes' decision to join Valencia - less than 24 hours after he was their guest at yesterday's home game with Blackburn. The Benfica midfielder even spent an hour with chairman and owner Bill Kenwright assuring the Merseysiders that he would be joining them, before apparently heading home. In fact, Fernandes flew to Valencia, and now looks certain to join them for a £12million fee. He had already successfully completed a medical at Goodison Park, and the contracts - which included issues of third-party ownership - were being studied by Premier League officials. Everton boss David Moyes claimed a week ago that Fernandes would 'be an Everton player within 24 hours'. And as late as Friday the club were expecting clearance for Fernandes to be in their squad for the Blackburn game. But the whole deal has been turned on its head, even though Everton had actually agreed to meet the £12m asking price for 100% of the player. Previously it was believed that they had agreed to pay Benfica £6m for their half of Fernandes, with the third-party owners holding the other 50%. That initially caused problems for the Premier League, who are clamping down on all third-party transfers in the wake of the Carlos Tevez affair, and Everton then moved to buy out the other 50% from the owners. But at the last moment it looks as if Valencia, who play in Spain's Primera Liga where third-party contracts are no problem, have stepped in and offered around £10m for just 50% of the player, which means his owners would retain an interest in the player and any future transfer fees. It is a savage blow to Moyes, who now has a week of the transfer window to find midfield re-enforcement. But now Fernandes, who spent six months on loan at Everton last season, is set to sign a six-year deal at the Mestalla. A statement on Valencia's official website today revealed: 'Valencia have reached an agreement during this morning, pending medical tests, for the signing of Portuguese midfielder Manuel Henrique Tavares Fernandes for six years with a buyout clause of 60million euros. 'The 21-year-old midfielder, a product of the Benfica youth academy, will be presented in the next few days by the Mestalla club.' The fee for Fernandes is somewhere around 15million Euros (£10m), according to reports in the Spanish media. He also enjoyed a loan spell with Portsmouth during the early part of last season, but they declined to meet the £12m asking price and he returned to Lisbon ahead of a loan deal with Everton. Everton hope to have more luck on Wednesday when they attempt to gain a work permit for £11.6m Yakubu, having had the first application rejected because the player did not meet the international appearances criteria. Everton will explain that player has fallen out with the Nigerian coach and not been selected recently. But the fact that he is a proven top-class player and has been playing in England for five years will ensure the appeal will be successful.