Date: 30th August 2006 at 5:29pm
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Pompey today finally completed the signing of Portuguese International Manuel Fernandes.

The 20-year-old signs initially on loan from Benfica with a view to a permanent £7 million move.

There is however an escape clause in the contract should he fail to recover from the groin injury.

The transfer saga started way back in July, but concerns over the players fitness caused Pompey to put a £10 million deal on hold. In an unusual move he stayed with the club to be treated by our nedical staff, rather than return to Benfica.

At least we have now wrapped up the signing (albeit only initially on loan) so we can hopefully soon see just how good Fernandes is, although he could still be two months away from fitness. If he is half the player we think and expect we’re in for a treat!

‘Even though his conversion to central midfield was relatively recent, I do not think that, at 19, Makelele was a better player than Manuel Fernandes,’ said Jose Mourinho.

‘From my vantage point, this kid looks calm, wise, sensible and, according to Tiago, deserves all the luck, because he is a nice person.

‘I follow him very carefully. He is very strong defensively, and suited to pressurising teams in their own half.

‘Without being tall, he seems to be sufficiently agile to compete in the air. His passing is accurate, he takes good positions near the opposition’s box and has a powerful shot,” said Jose.

click here to watch the player The player can also play on the left of midfield!