Manchester City are considering Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as a potential long-term successor to veteran Fernandinho, both Goal and the Daily Mail report.
The immediate priority will be to replace Yaya Touré, who will end an eight-year stay at the Etihad Stadium next June when his contract expires, but at 32, Fernandinho will not be able to maintain his excellent standard forever.
And it is reported that Fred, full name Frederico Rodrigues Santos, who has been capped six times by Brazil, is under consideration to fill the ‘6’ role.
The other name reported to be on the radar is the oft-mentioned Julian Weigl of Borussia Dortmund, who was also named as a candidate for the holding midfield position by The Guardian and Telegraph earlier this week.
The name Fred is a new one in the rumour mill though, and Pep Guardiola has already had chance to observe him up close, with the 24-year-old appearing in both of Shakhtar’s Champions League Group F ties against Man City this season.
Fred is part of Shakhtar’s talented Brazilian contingent, a tradition going back several years now – indeed, City signed Fernandinho from the Ukraine giants back in 2013 and he has proven to be an inspired buy.
With Touré and Fernandinho unlikely to be around for the long haul, it’s quite possible that Pep could look to bring both Fred and Weigl in, but realistically only one of the two would arrive next summer with Fernandinho clearly having plenty left in the tank.
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