Chelsea are preparing an 11th-hour attempt to pip Manchester City to the signature of Porto midfielder Fernando, understands. A source close to Stamford Bridge told FDN the west London outfit are ready to raid boss Jose Mourinho’s former club for the 26-year-old despite the champions’ long-standing interest in the player.
The club insider revealed Chelsea are anxious to bolster the heart of their engine room ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, with England veteran Frank Lampard in the twilight of his career and Nemanja Matic suffering a dip in form at the end of last term.
They face a fight to derail Fernando’s widely-anticipated switch to the Etihad Stadium, as City still retain high hopes of luring the Brazilian and his Porto team-mate Eliaquim Mangala to Manchester in the coming weeks.
The pair could have joined on the final day of the January transfer window and the League Cup winners even arranged for a private jet to fly them both to England as the clock ticked down, but the deal did not get over the finishing line. France international Mangala could hold up the double deal this time around, as he is believed to be focusing only on the World Cup.