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Sporting Lisbon mulling move for ex-Everton and Portsmouth midfielder?

Could Manuel Fernandes be back on his way to Portugal?

Reports in Spain say that Sporting Lisbon are considering a move for the ex-Everton midfielder Manuel Fernandes.  Currently with Valencia in La Liga, Fernandes has been targeted by Sporting after a move for Glasgow Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes fell through.

The one-time Everton, Portsmouth and Benfica midfielder has been targeted by the Portuguese side as they look to close the gap to the top of the table in the Superliga.  Indeed Sporting Clube de Lisbon to give them their full name are now a massive 12 points off the race for the title languishing on 27 points, with the leaders Sporting Braga and cross-city rivals Benfica on 39.

Sporting have been linked with several midfielders, most notably Glasgow Rangers’ Pedro Mendes, another player with Portsmouth links, but a deal  never came to pass, and the former FC Porto player remains in Scotland.

Manuel Fernandes has made just one start this season in the UEFA Europa League, and a further 3 sub appearances in La Liga, but has fallen behind the like of Ever Banega and David Albelda in the pecking order in the central midfield area for Valencia.

Fernandes, like so many players not featuring regularly for their first team, is desperately looking for a way out of Valencia to ensure that he keeps his place in the Portugal World Cup squad later this year.  Fernandes, a one-time regular in the heart of the midfield, made 19 league appearances for Everton in two separate spells and played ten times for Pompey as well.  However, a full deal to move to Goodison Park never came off after a potential permanent move fell foul of then-recent new rules implemented by the Premier League regarding player rights and contract ownership in the wake of the Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano affairs.

During his time in England he was a regular in the national team squad after impressing with his contribution in the middle of the park both going forward and screening the defence.  However he has made only one appearance for Portugal in the World Cup qualifying campaign, which dates back to November 2007. 

However, after making 27 La Liga appearances for Valenica last season, a slow recovery from injury and a susbequent loss of form have badly affected Fernandes this time around.  Therefore in a bid to salvage his season, he is now hoping that he can get some regular action with Sporting Lisbon.

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