The Brazilian is expected to be one of next year's most coveted midfielders - he is out of contract in June and available for a knockdown price in January.

talkSPORT told you last month that Juventus, Inter Milan and Monaco are on his trail, but sources in Italy now suggest that Napoli are the frontrunners to clinch his signature.

Napoli are desperate to recruit a new anchorman - Javier Mascherano and Liverpool's Lucas Leiva have both been eyed by their former manager Rafa Benitez - and they are now keen on Fernando.

Benitez has dispatched scouts to watch the 26-year-old and is pondering making a bid when the transfer window re-opens.