Porto midfielder Fernando is on the verge of a £15m switch to Everton as a replacement for Manchester United target Marouane Fellaini.
The Goodison Park club have agreed a fee with the Portuguese champions and the Brazilian has secured a work permit, according to reports.
Roberto Martinez will feel he has landed a bargain as Porto are prepared to let their player leave for less than the €30m fee stipulated in his release clause.
The 26-year-old would bring a wealth of experience to the Toffees’ side, having played a major role in his club’s successful Europa League campaign in 2010/11.
He also starred in Porto’s 3-2 aggregate loss to United in the 2008/09 Champions League quarter-final and has been linked with Juventus, Liverpool and Arsenal in the past.
Fernando is a tough-tackling defensive midfielder whose ball-winning abilities and clinical short passing provided the platform for attacking midfielders such as Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez – who have since left the club in a £70m double move to Monaco – to feed last season’s 26-goal Primeira Liga top scorer Jackson Martinez.
Everton have been fighting a losing battle to keep hold of Fellaini since the Belgian international expressed a desire to play for the Champions, but are hopeful of keeping England left-back Leighton Baines out of the clutches of old gaffer and United chief David Moyes.
Martinez also remains hopeful of securing the signature of one of his former players – Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has said that he will not stand in the Ireland international’s way if an offer of around £15m comes in from a Premier League club.
The Blues have had two bids turned down for the player already, but the 22-year-old is desperate for a top flight reunion with his former manager and is expected to move before the window closes.