Semedo moved to Camp Nou from Benfica in July, signing a five-year contract with the Spanish giants.
The 23-year-old was just one of a number of full-backs linked with a move to Barcelona, but Fernandez has insisted that the Portugal international was the club's leading target in that position.
"Semedo? It was a priority to sign a right-back with pace and technique, so we chose Nelson. The coach liked him too, so we worked hard to bring him in," Fernandez told reporters.
Manchester United had also previously been credited with an interest in Semedo.