Turkish side Beşiktaş are experiencing a host of financial problems at the moment that may signal a mass exodus of the clubs top players. Amongst these just happens to be former Everton loan star Manuel Fernandes.
The midfielder has reportedly asked for the final year of his current contract to be terminated to allow the Portuguese player the freedom to search for another club during the summer. Could his new permanent home be back at Goodison Park? He is familiar with the club, and he did well for us during his two short spells here. On a free, surely a number of clubs will be lining up to secure the signature of such a quality player?
Manuel, more commonly known as Manny, has played for a number of top clubs across Europe despite his relatively tender age. At 26, Fernandes has already been on the books of Benfica, Portsmouth, Everton, Valencia and most recently Turkish side Beşiktaş.
The midfielder has had two loan spells with the Toffees in the past, totalling 21 appearances in a blue shirt scoring two goals, including a particularly memorable effort against Manchester United.
Although Everton were clearly interested in signing the player on a full-time basis after his first spell, David Moyes could not come to an agreement with both Benfica and a third party owner, the latter causing a major hurdle in transfer negotiations. Fernandes then joined Valencia in the summer of 2007, the Spanish giants stumping up the inflated figure of £12 million to capture the services of the Portuguese star.
Following a particularly successful second season with Valencia, Fernandes found playing time hard to come by forcing the midfielder to turn his attention to Turkish giants Beşiktaş; initially he arrived at the club on loan but then sealed a permanent move in July 2011.
As previously mentioned, Beşiktaş now find themselves in dire financial straits and just a few days ago were compelled to cancel Fernandes’ contract leaving the player a free agent; unfortunate for the Turkish side but in this case, one club’s loss could be another club’s gain.
On the international stage, Fernandes has flirted with the fringes of the senior squad since his first senior call-up back in 2005. Regular football in Turkey has helped Fernandes further increase his footballing credentials and prove his obvious talent, something he had struggled to re-create at some of his previous clubs.
Should Moyes see Fernandes as an option, a regular starting position may not be a certainty given the form displayed by the current central midfield players at Everton in the season just passed.
Personally, I would welcome Fernandes back with open arms; he would certainly add a little bit of flair to the midfield and bring something different to the table than Darron Gibson, Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill currently provide.
But, given the success of the newly formed partnership between Fellaini and Gibson, I’m not sure Fernandes would be guaranteed a starting place on a regular basis at Everton. Moyes appears to be a huge fan of the Gibson and Fellaini pairing, and despite my own personal preferences, I don’t see this partnership being split anytime soon.
On a free, Fernandes would be an absolute bargain! It’s definitely a no brainer for me – although his wage demands could prove to be a stumbling block.