Manchester City are set to end their interest in signing Shakhtar Donetsk star Fred, according to reports.
Sources close to the Premier League leaders are said to have informed ESPN that Pep Guardiola no longer wishes to bring the midfielder to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.
That paves the way for bitter city rivals Manchester United to steam ahead with their own pursuit of Fred after entering the race to try and bring him to England's shores.
City were hotly tipped to land Fred in the January transfer window as Guardiola looked to bolster his ranks ahead of maintaining his side's insurmountable lead at the summit of the top flight.
However, with Shakhtar still plying their trade in the Champions League at the time, City have decided to cool their interest in the 25-year-old and look to find a different player who can fill the void of veteran midfielder Yaya Toure.
The ex-Ivory Coast international is due to leave Manchester at the end of this term when his contract runs out and, with first teamer Fernandinho also getting long in the tooth, City want to bring in an experienced but younger star who can become the pair's natural successor in the heart of midfield.
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Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin has already confirmed that the club are resigned to losing Fred in the summer as the Brazil international eyes a new challenge after winning all that he can in Ukraine's top tier.
And the man himself confirmed back in February that he had been interested in the potential switch to City during the winter window even though his desire to head there appears to now be dead in the water.
Fred has plied his trade in Eastern Europe since the summer of 2013 when he completed a £13.5m move from Internacional in his homeland.
The combative midfielder has since gone on to appear 146 times in all competitions for Shakhtar, and has lifted two top flight trophies and two Ukrainian Super Cups.