City Out Of Race
Manchester United are favourites to sign Fred after Manchester City withdrew from the running for the Brazilian.
City made a move for the 25-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder in January. But the Ukrainian side rejected their €50million (£43million) bid as Shakhtar were still involved in European competition.
It had been thought that City would be back in for Fred this summer. But having signed defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao they have shifted their attentions to elsewhere in their squad and are no longer believed to be interested.
That leaves United as firm favourites to snap up the 25-year-old. The absence of City from the list of admirers is also significant as having two of the Premier League’s big spenders was only likely to have the effect of driving up Fred’s price.
Jose Mourinho is expected to be in the market for two midfield players this summer as Michael Carrick retires from the game and Marouane Fellaini leaves Manchester United at the end of his contract. What makes that so difficult is that the United boss has spots to fill in the squad. He will have to spend to replace a duo for which he will not receive any transfer fees.
United are hoping to conclude a deal with Fred’s representatives and with Shakhtar. The transfer could go through before he flies out to the World Cup finals in Russia with the Brazil squad at the beginning of June.
United are also being linked with Napoli midfielder Jorginho. The Italy international is wanted by a number of Premier League sides with Liverpool and Manchester City both said to be interested.
Jorginho has the advantage of having played in a higher-ranked league than Fred – his Napoli side are in a straight fight with Juventus for the Serie A title.