Manchester United and Everton are falling behind in the race to sign Porto midfielder Fernando after Juventus officials reportedly held talks with his agent over a possible transfer.
According to talkSPORT, the reigning Serie A champions have made the first move by setting up a meeting about a summer switch, meaning David Moyes and Roberto Martinez will have some work to do to make up lost ground.
Manchester United were credited with an interest in the 26-year-old last weekend and were encouraged earlier this week when it was reported he was set to apply for a Portuguese passport, making any move to the Premier League far more likely.
Fernando is a combative defensive midfielder and could provide a bit of steel in front of the defence at Old Trafford, which is an area they have been criticised for lacking the requisite quality for some time.
Moyes is probably in need of recruits in January but he could land the Brazilian next summer for free, as his contract expires at the end of this season.
However, the new Manchester United boss will have to move fast as it seems Juventus are ready to get the ball rolling in taking him to Serie A.