Manchester City are considered as firm favourites to sign midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, as per various reports. Former Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu, who brought Fred to the club, has predicted that the Brazilian will chose City over cross-town rivals Manchester United after the end of the season.
Fred has grown from strength to strength since leaving his native for Ukraine in the summer of 2013. Now in his 5th season at the Ukrainian club, the Brazilian has been a pillar of strength at Donetsk, with him being considered by many as the best player at the club, ever since Lucescu deployed him as a holding midfielder.
The ex-Shakhtar manager has gone on to claim that Fred will be following the footsteps of Fernandinho, who joined City in 2013.
“Shakhtar Donetsk’s best player is Fred in the centre of midfield. He was a bit anarchic on the left. I moved him in front of the defence,” Lucescu was quoted in a report by the Daily Mirror.
“He will go to City like Fernandinho before him.”
Fernandinho has been one of the best players under Pep Guardiola as City have blown away teams left, right and centre this season. The Brazilian has been a true asset for City since signing from Shakhtar and has been one of the first names on the team sheet under Guardiola.
But the midfielder will turn 33 at the end of the season and it looks like Guardiola is targeting Fred to replace Fernandinho in the summer. It looks like Fred has his heart set to join City over United at the end of the season. But for United, it would mean a defeat as Jose Mourinho is also considering bringing the defensive midfielder to Old Trafford.
Given City are way ahead of United in the pursuit of Fred, Mourinho could tactfully hijack Pep’s plans, just like he did with Alexis Sanchez. When Sanchez was all clear to join the Citizens in January, United came calling out of nowhere and by agreeing to a deal with Arsenal, Mourinho got his man under the noses of Pep’s Man City.
United are in dire need of midfielders after the end of the season, with Michael Carrick retiring and Marouane Fellaini yet to sign an extension. The departure of Carrick and Fellaini would leave the club light in midfield but the United manager has already started planning for the future and should hijack City’s move again, this time by going for the £50million-rated Fred.