Fulham among clubs linked with defender Fernandes

Fulham are among a trio of Premier League clubs keeping an eye on Portuguese defender Jorge Fernandes, according to reports.

The Mail claims Newcastle and Southampton are also interested in Fernandes who is valued in the region of £16m by his club Vitoria Guimaraes.

Fulham’s defence has improved markedly in recent months after its alarming early-season problems, conceding just eight goals in their last eight games, having shipped 15 in their opening six Premier League fixtures.

The upturn has seen the Whites pick up their first win of the campaign and suffer just one defeat in their last five.

The 23-year-old centre-back could further bolster the back four, having starred this season for Vitoria who are coached by former Chelsea midfielder Tiago Mendes.

Vitoria have conceded just two goals when the 6ft 4ins Portugal Under-21 international has played this season, helping them up to fifth in the Portuguese Liga.

Fernandes, a Porto academy product, is a ball playing centre-back who had spells on loan at Portuguese side Tondela and last season at Kasimpasa in Turkey before moving to Vitoria in the summer for a cut-price £720,000.

Scott Parker’s side are among a host of English sides searching for new defenders ahead of the January window.