He has reportedly agreed terms on a five-year contract worth £170,000-a-week and told Benfica he wants to go, but as it stands, it appears more likely that the deal will be called off than go through as Chelsea are unwilling to pay the full amount for the centre midfielder.
Realistically, it is difficult to imagine United being able to find such a sum too, particularly after spending £220m in the summer transfer window. United and Liverpool have both held interest in Fernandez after an array of sublime performances at the World Cup.
Ten Hag has also stated his desire to sign a central striker in January after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Al-Nassr, with only Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford equipped to play as a No 9.
And that could mean that despite the desperate pleas of Express readers, the United head coach may decide to focus his efforts away from Fernandez in January as there are more urgent areas to address elsewhere.