Manchester City are working on a deal to sign highly-rated Brazil midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, James Ducker of the Telegraph reports.
The 24-year-old has emerged as the main candidate to replace Yaya Touré in the summer when the Ivorian’s long stay at the Etihad Stadium finally comes to an end.
And conscious of interest from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, City are trying to secure the player’s signature before the World Cup. Blues chiefs are happy to wait until summer for the all-action midfielder, given that he would be ineligible to play in the Champions League knockout stage.
City had hoped to sign Fred for around £30million, a similar amount to that which they paid Shakhtar for Fernandinho in 2013, but growing interest in the player, from Manchester United, Arsenal and others, is thought to have pushed the asking price beyond £40million.
Shakhtar’s chief executive Sergei Palkin traveled to Manchester for informal talks after City’s first defeat of the season on 6 December to Shakhtar, and City are hoping a deal can be done.
The ‘No. 6’ position is one City are looking to add fresh legs to, with Fernandinho turning 33 in May and club legend Yaya Touré on his way out in June and seldom used by Pep Guardiola.
City Sport Range now on sale at the City Store!