Having previously crossed swords in pursuit of Alexis Sanchez, two old adversaries are set to do the same this summer over a Brazilian midfielder
Shakhtar Donetsk have confirmed that in-demand midfielder Fred will be heading to Manchester this summer, with City and United set for another transfer tussle.
Goal revealed in February that Pep Guardiola had identified the Brazilian as a top target, with a £44.5 million offer in place.
He had first registered on the City radar prior to the January transfer window, but no deal could be done before the winter deadline passed.
The Premier League leaders are refusing to give up in their efforts to get an agreement pushed through, but they are set to face competition from a familiar foe.
Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin said in Corriere dello Sport on the battle for Fred’s signature: “Fred will leave in June. If not to Manchester City, then to Manchester United.
“He is ready for the best championships. In addition to being very good, Fred is very professional.”
Fred has been with Ukrainian giants Shakhtar since 2013 and displayed a remarkable level of consistency over the course of five seasons.
He is considered to be a long-term solution for the holding midfield role at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford, with both City and United eager to reinforce in that area.
Guardiola’s side are preparing to part with Yaya Toure in the summer, while Fernandinho is now 32 years of age.
United, meanwhile, are set to see Michael Carrick head into retirement at the end of the season.
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They do have the likes of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic on their books, but Mourinho is in the market for more new recruits.
Fred, at 25 years of age, fits the bill and could spark another scramble for his services when the next window opens.
United and City locked swords in pursuit of Alexis Sanchez in January, with the Red Devils ultimately emerging victorious, and they may be about to scrap it out for another high-profile addition.