Manchester United are set to lose out in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred – to their fierce city rivals.
The Brazilian is believed to have agreed a deal with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League table-toppers, with the two clubs trying to sort out just when the 24-year-old will move to the Etihad.
Manchester City are keen for Fred to move in the current window, but the Russian club would prefer to keep hold of their star man until the summer on loan, according to Arab News.
The fee is believed to be around £27million.
Fred, 24, is seen as a long-term replacement for veteran ace Fernandinho who recently signed a new two-year deal.
Yaya Toure, 34, who has hardly featured this term, is expected to leave after eight seasons at the club.
Fred is a defensive midfielder who impressed against City this season and has drawn attention from United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The man himself has already spoke of how he would welcome a move to the champions-elect.
He told Gazetta dello Sport: “A friend gave me the news saying that City and Guardiola were interested in me.
“At the exit of the locker room, he (Guardiola) stopped me and said we had a good game.
“However, I confess, I wait impatiently for his call to arrive now. I think I would grow a lot with him.
“England is the best league in the world and I’ve always dreamed of playing there.”
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Fred’s career has not been without controversy.
He tested positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide while playing for Brazil at the Copa America in 2015.
City are looking for reinforcements before the window closes and had been hoping to land Sanchez from Arsenal.
However, a deal fell through for financial reasons, and the Chilean has now been confirmed as a Manchester United player.