Man Utd hope to beat Man City and Arsenal to signing of £50m Brazilian

Manchester United are hoping to beat Manchester City and Arsenal to the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, according to the Express.

The Brazilian midfielder has been a superb player for the Ukrainian Premier League champions since joining from his homeland club Internacional back in 2013.

Fred’s performances at club level, including the Champions League, have seen him earn six caps for the Brazil national team over the past three years.  He particularly impressed in this season’s group stage that saw Shakhtar Donetsk progress from a group that included Manchester City, Napoli and Feyenoord to reach the second round where they will face AS Roma five days after their domestic action resumes from the winter break.

The holding midfielder has been a regular in Paulo Fonseca’s side this season having appeared 24 times in all competitions, scoring two goals and recording four assists so far.

However, the 24-year-old does have a bad disciplinary record and was even sent off in his final league game before the international break in mid-December.

Fred’s performances have attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs, with the Express reporting that Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal are all keen to bring him to England.

Arsène Wenger doesn’t really have an out-and-out holding midfielder in his Arsenal squad after selling Francis Coquelin to Valencia earlier this month so the French manager may be particularly keen to land the Brazilian.

Manchester City may want to replace Yaya Touré before the start of next season with Fernandinho being their regular defensive midfielder.  The latter is 32 years old himself.

But it’s Manchester United whom the Express are citing the Daily Star as saying are the favourites to land the Brazilian, whom claim Shakhtar Donetsk value at £50 million.

We have until 11pm on Wednesday night to bring in any new players before the close of the January transfer window.  The player would also need a work permit sorting out so we’d need to act fast if Jose really wants to bring him to Old Trafford this month.

With Michael Carrick set to retire at the end of the season and Marouane Fellaini yet to agree to a new contract with his current deal set to expire at the end of this campaign, a new central midfielder is among the boss’ top priorities before our 2018-19 campaign.