Fernandinho already has three proposals on the table ahead of his Manchester City exit, a reporter has revealed – but his preference is another.
Even Pep Guardiola was taken by surprise when Fernandinho announced his intention to leave Manchester City at a press conference earlier this week. Although accepting his lesser playing role, the club captain revealed he wants to continue his career elsewhere.
He simply replied, “I don’t think so” when asked if he would renew his contract. Later, he clarified that he “will go back to Brazil”.
Even though Fernandinho is out of contract in the summer anyway, it was news to manager Guardiola. He in turn vowed to speak with his skipper in the summer after admitting he “didn’t know” his plans.
A tweet from the midfielder later also confirmed he would not be discussing his future again until the end of the season after speaking spontaneously.
But that will not stop rumours arising about where he may be playing his football next season. Accordingly, Globo Esporte journalist Nadja Mauad has now shed light on Fernandinho’s suitors.
Mauad claims Fernandinho has been approached by Corinthians, Botafogo and Flamengo ahead of his free agency.
Flamengo finished second in the 2021 edition of the Brazilian Serie A. Corinthians finished fifth, enough to qualify for the Copa Libertadores group stage. Botafogo, meanwhile, won promotion from the second tier; they are ambitious after Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor became a majority shareholder.
Therefore, any of the three destinations would seemingly appeal. But according to Mauad, Fernandinho has his sights set elsewhere.
Preferably, the 36-year-old wants to return to Athletico Paranaense, the club where he began his career between 2002 and 2005.
Family pushing Fernandinho to Athletico Paranaense
After his time there, he joined Shakhtar Donetsk, where he spent eight seasons before joining Manchester City. His spell in the Premier League has lasted even longer, bringing 374 appearances – and 12 trophies – over nine seasons.
But now in the twilight of his career, Fernandinho wants to spend his final years as a footballer elsewhere. If Athletico Paranaense can accommodate him, they would be his first choice.
They are based in his home state of Parana, whereas his other three suitors are not. So it really would be a return home for the 53-time Brazil international.
Furthermore, his family want him to make that specific move. Interestingly, when he revealed he would be leaving Man City, he said he had come to the decision with his family – the “most important” factor.
If they have had their say on his exact destination, Athletico Paranaense could be the ones to welcome Fernandinho back to Brazil in the summer of 2022.
They came 14th out of 20 in Serie A last season, but qualified for the Copa Libertadores by way of winning the Copa Sudamericana (in the same way that in Europe, the winners of the Europa League would go into the next Champions League).
The Brazilian season has just begun again (Athletico-PR lost their first game 4-0 to Sao Paulo). Hence, Fernandinho would be joining midway through by the time his contract expires at the end of June.
Only time will tell whether he does end up in the city of Curitiba or not.
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