Manchester United have been dealt a major blow as Manchester City close in on Shakhtar midfielder Fred, reports the Daily Mail. The Brazilian international could be on his way to the Etihad Stadium for £50m this month.
Jose Mourinho will be disappointed not to land the 24-year-old, as he’s been trying to identify the ideal replacement for Michael Carrick, who retires from playing to become a first-team coach in the summer.
Defensive midfielder Fred has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs this season, with Chelsea and Arsenal having shown an earlier interest. But it was United somewhat challengeing City for his signature, although the Sky Blues appear to have lodged their lofty bid without any official approach coming from elsewhere.
Fred, who joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Internacional in 2013, has made over 140 appearances in all competitions for the Ukrainian club. The 24-year-old signed a new five-year-deal just weeks ago, but it appears his future now lies with Pep Guardiola in England.
He’s been an ever-present this season, making 24 appearances in all competitions, including December’s Champions League win over Manchester City. Mourinho has other midfield targets lined up, with OGC Nice’s Jean Michael Seri reportedly on the club’s shortlist, but there’s been little progress.
With United bracing the summer exits of Carrick and contract rebel Marouane Fellaini, the need for a replacement midfielder becomes more urgent as the end of the January transfer window approaches.