Despite frequent speculation during the summer window, United failed to push through the transfer of the playmaker, who has been keen to move to a bigger club.
However, with the 25-year-old having contributed 13 goals and 10 assists in Portugal's top flight and the Europa League during the first half of the campaign, United have seemingly made their move.
Should a deal be finalised before the end of January, it throws up question marks over where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will use the Portugal international in his first XI.
With that in mind, Sports Mole predicts how United could line up if they are able to complete an alleged £65m deal.
During his 23 appearances this season, Fernandes has mainly been used in central midfield or in a more advanced role closer to the main striker.
With Solskjaer having to contend with issues in both positions, the versatility of Fernandes could prove crucial to the Norwegian during the second half of the campaign.
When having each of his midfielders at his disposal, Solskjaer will likely use Fernandes further forward, given that the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira have struggled to weigh in with goals and assists.
However, as a result of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba both being sidelined through injury, the current circumstances may dictate that Fernandes is used in a midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Fred.
While much would depend on United's opponents, that would likely be Solskjaer's strategy should Fernandes be signed during the next 48 hours, several days before the trip to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
Against lower-end Premier League teams, especially at home, Fernandes could also line up in a midfield two, providing that either McTominay or Matic are used alongside him.
Fernandes is capable of playing on either flank, although Solskjaer's style of play and preference for pace out wide makes an outing in that area more unlikely.body check tags ::