Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Linked with Fernandes; Besiktas Star on Radar of Di Canio

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Black Cats Linked with Fernandes; Besiktas Star on Radar of Di Canio

Article excerpt

PORTUGUESE star Manuel Fernandes is the latest player to be linked with a move to Sunderland as Paolo Di Canio continues his search for a creative midfielder, writes JAMES HUNTER.

Di Canio has already made nine signings this summer but is keen to add another playmaker before the season kicks off on August 17. And Fernandes, who currently plays for Turkish side Besiktas, is understood to be among the options the Black Cats are considering.

The 27-year-old began his career in his homeland before moving to Spain and then Turkey, but he also has Premier League experience after spending three loan spells in England with Portsmouth and Everton.

He has just entered the final year of his contract at Besiktas and the club is ready to offer him a new deal, with the Black Eagles' president Fikret Orman claiming that the player wants to stay.

"Fernandes is going to extend his contract, there is no problem, he is happy here and wants to stay," said Orman.

But now that Sunderland have expressed an interest, Fernandes may decide his future lies in the Premier League.

Fernandes began his career Benfica, winning the Portuguese cup in 2004, and the league and supercup the following season, and also spent four years in Spain with Valencia before moving to

Turkey two years ago. While a Benfica player, he spent the first half of the 2006-07 season at Portsmouth, making 10 appearances, but the PS12m asking price meant that Pompey boss Harry Redknapp opted not to make the move permanent. Fernandes returned to Portugal but then reappeared in England to spend the second half of that season at Everton, where he went on to make another nine appearances and score two goals. Everton tried to sign him that summer , but the deal did not come to fruition and Fernandes joined Valencia for PS12. …

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