Fred snubs Manchester United for Manchester City as £35m deal nears – report

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred is closing in on a move to Manchester City and has rejected interest from neighbours Manchester United to work with Pep Guardiola, Duncan Castles reports.

There will be no elaborate “Fred the Red” social campaigns from Manchester United with the 24-year-old very close to joining City, as reported by Sky Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio on Monday.

Castles, known to be well-connected to the Jose Mourinho camp, has similar information, claiming that with the player’s decision to join City, negotiations are now centered around when Fred will join City.

Shakhtar, who remain in the UEFA Champions League and face Roma in the Round of 16, would prefer to retain the Brazilian for the remainder of the season, but Guardiola would like to add him now because City are competing on four fronts.

United have also explored a deal for the dynamic midfielder in January, but have accepted he is City-bound, unlike Alexis Sanchez who was tempted by a £500,000-a-week financial package offered by Manchester United to move to Old Trafford.

Castles says the Ukrainian giants expect to receive a fee of around €40million (£35million) for Fred, which in today’s market could be a bargain – if he performs to the standard he did against City in the Champions League.

In addition to Fred, City also hope to add a centre-back to the squad, with Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte emerging as the first choice ahead of Jonny Evans.

To celebrate Nicolas Otamendi’s new deal, the City Store has released these new tees!

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