Manchester City has identified Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as a top target, and are working on a deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, according to reports.
Manchester City have identified Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred as a top target, and are working on a deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, according to reports.
The 24-year old defensive midfielder is seen as the heir apparent to the role vacated by Yaya Toure, who is expected to be released by the club at the end of the season.
The Daily Telegraph report that whilst signing Fred is not an immediate priority, City's hierarchy are keen to bring in another player similar to current defensive midfielder Fernandinho before the World Cup begins in June.
Fred's stock has continued to rise in recent months, with the Brazilian international impressing for Shakhtar domestically, as well as in the UEFA Champions League. The Citizens appear to be happy to wait until the summer to sign him though, as he would be ineligible to play for them in Europe this season.
City are rumored to be keen to tie up an agreement with Shakhtar now, with speculation that rivals Manchester United and Arsenal may be among other clubs also interested. The two clubs have a good working relationship, having done business before when Fernandinho made the same move in 2013 for a fee of around £30m.
Fred has spoken previously of his desire to play under Pep Guardiola, a factor that could be key in City's attempts to complete a deal.
“A friend gave me the news saying that City and Guardiola were interested in me,” he reportedly told Gazetta dello Sport. “At the exit of the locker room, he [Guardiola] stopped me and said we had a good game. But he did not ask me to play with him.
"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.”
The former Internacional midfielder has scored nine times in 90 league games since joining Shakhtar in the summer of 2013, with the Brazilian having earned six international caps during his career thus far.