Fernando is set to turn down a new contract at Porto in the hope that he can join Manchester City in the summer.

City had tried to sign the 26-year-old Brazilian for £12m on the final day of the January transfer window but the deal fell through. His contract at Porto is thought to expire at the end of the season and the club had hoped he would sign fresh terms to protect his value.

But Fernando is now unlikely to do so as he tries to ensure the move to City takes place, a decision that has upset Pinto da Costa, the Porto president. Da Costa's disquiet at Fernando's stance is thought to have caused him to suggest that Paulo Fonseca, the head coach, stand him down from the side.

Manuel Pellegrini is keen to have Fernando as a further central midfield option beyond Fernandinho and Yaya Touré. In City's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening the manager fielded Martín Demichelis, a central defender, in place of the injured Fernandinho rather than Jack Rodwell or James Milner, who are specialists in the position.