Manchester City made its first big move in this summer’s transfer market on Thursday, signing Brazil international Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk to make a statement of intent ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Financial details weren’t disclosed but British media reported that Fernandinho cost City around US$54.7 million and signed a five-year deal.
“This is a change, a challenge and a chance that I have been waiting a long time for,” said the 28-year-old central midfielder, who was at Shakhtar for eight years. “Playing in the Premier League for City is like a dream.”
City is also expected to imminently sign Spain winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla as it looks to restructure its squad in a bid to reclaim the English title off Manchester United next season.
Blessed with great technique, movement and stamina, Fernandinho has impressed on the Champions League stage with Shakhtar in recent seasons. The last of his five international appearances came in February last year, though, and he hasn’t played under new Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
He must fight for a place in City’s midfield with Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and Javi Garcia under the club’s new manager, who is expected to be Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean has said he has struck a verbal agreement with City and is currently in talks ahead of finalising his move from Malaga as the replacement for the fired Roberto Mancini.
Mancini complained throughout last season that City had failed to make the necessary signings to take the next step after its title success last year. The acquisition of Fernandinho is a sign that the club has learnt its lesson and his likely combination with Toure in central midfield is a mouthwatering prospect.
“My ambition here is to win all the titles,” Fernandinho said. “The team here is strong, and so is the greatness of the club and the supporters.
“Professionally this is a spectacular thing. Playing for a huge club in a huge league makes me so happy.”