Fernandinho is expected to leave Manchester City at the end of the season and has already had offers put to him, says his agent. The 35-year-old, who Pep Guardiola recently called ‘exceptional’, is out of contract in July and isn’t close to putting pen to paper on an extension, so his eight-year stint at the Etihad Stadium could be coming to an end.
Where will Manchester City finish this season?
Fernandinho will be 36 in the next transfer window, but his representative Giovanni Branchini says he’s not considering retirement and would be keen on a move to his former club – Brazilian Serie A side Club Athletico Paranaense. He told Globo Esporte (h/t Sport Witness): “We’ve received several proposals, good projects from Brazilian and European clubs for Fernandinho.
“He’s a phenomenal player and person. I believe it won’t be long before he knows what decision he’ll make. Everyone knows that Fernandinho has a great affection for Athletico and the board. I, too, have an excellent relationship with President Mario Celso Petraglia.”
Fernandinho has made 330 appearances in all competitions for Man City, scoring 24 goals with 27 assists. The Brazilian international has won three Premier League titles, five EFL Cups and one FA Cup. This season, he’s made 16 appearances across the board but no longer commands a starting place.
Pep Guardiola signed Rodri from Atletico Madrid in 2019 and has handed him 77 appearances in 18 months. Although the 24-year-old has struggled for consistency, he does look to be Fernandinho’s long-term replacement. Guardiola has Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden at his disposal, but he may need another player in the engine room when Fernandinho leaves.
Branchini added: “Conversations have always happened, but I can’t go ahead and say that we talk about values, for example. It hasn’t happened yet. I confess that it’s difficult to think of Fernandinho returning to Brazil and not playing for Athletico. But we have to wait, it’s a difficult decision, which he has to make with his family.”
Fernandinho’s professional career began at Athletico. He made 72 appearances in all competitions between 2002-2005 before joining Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005. A return could be on the cards, says Branchini, but