Fernandes wants permanent deal
Leicester loanee Gelson Fernandes has one eye on a permanent deal, which he will receive if the club are promoted.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 05/08/11 10:50am
Leicester loanee Gelson Fernandes has one eye on a permanent deal but is fully focused on the club's opening Championship fixture at Coventry on Saturday.
The 24-year-old, on a season-long loan from St Etienne, has been told his move will become permanent if he helps the Foxes gain promotion to the Premier League.
Managed by Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson when at Manchester City, the Switzerland international is adamant the Championship is not a step down from what he is used to.
"If we go up, the deal will become permanent but I'm not projecting myself too far, I'm just thinking about Coventry tomorrow," he told the Leicester Mercury.
"I have played in four European leagues but I don't think the Championship is a step down.
"The English league is the best in the world and I am not scared to say that, because I have played in the Premier League."
Fernandes is Eriksson's 10th arrival this summer and faces stiff competition in midfield, including former City team-mate Michael Johnson.
The former Chievo player welcomes the challenge, though, and is ready to "make life difficult" for Championship opponents.
He said: "There are a lot of quality clubs in the Championship. We're not going to win games just because we have some names.
"I think, with 46 games in the Championship and two cup competitions, we need a squad which is going to be ready. The consistent teams will be the ones which go up.
"My job will be to try and win the ball and make life difficult for the opponents. I am a team player and I won't make the difference alone."
Fernandes put the finishing touches on his loan move to the King Power Stadium on Thursday, but was already in talks last weekend when Leicester went down 2-1 to European giants Real Madrid.
He said: "I watched the Real Madrid game and saw the full stadium and that is how we want it to be.
"It's going to be a big boost playing here and I hope the fans can identify with the team. I already love the stadium and I love the town."