Manchester United fail with late enquiries for £27m midfield duo

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Manchester United have failed with enquiries for two European-based transfer targets, reports

The website suggests that the Red Devils were rebuffed after making late enquiries concerning the availability of FC Porto midfielder Fernando and versatile Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao.

Goal report that Porto are not keen to sell Fernando with so little time remaining to find a replacement during the January window and that Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has blocked any hope of Portuguese international Coentrao making the switch from the Santiago Bernabeu.

26-year-old Fernando joined Porto back in 2007 and largely operates in a defensive midfield role at Estadio do Dragao. He was strongly linked with a potential move to Manchester United earlier this week, as manager David Moyes apparently seeks to strengthen his squad ahead of Friday's deadline.

The Brazilian-born enforcer - who is reportedly valued at as little as £7 million - has also been linked with Liverpool during the current window, as Brendan Rodgers - whose side recorded an emphatic 4-0 victory over Merseyside rivals Everton at Anfield last night - presumably seeks to add more depth to a squad that remain a little thin on numbers for a genuine title charge.

Coentrao, meanwhile, is evidently a long-term target for Moyes and Manchester United having seen a loan move to join the club scuppered in disappointing circumstances in the final stage of the summer window.

He has been linked yet again with a potential switch to Manchester United with the market re-opened, with reports earlier this month claiming that Real Madrid's £20 million valuation of the player was a key barrier towards a deal.

If Moyes is indeed looking to further strengthen his options following the impressive capture of former Chelsea star Juan Mata, then it appears he will have to look beyond Fernando and Coentrao.

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