Manchester United are in advanced talks with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk over a deal to sign highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Fred.
Sky Sports Sources understand a deal is very close between United and Shakhtar that will bring Fred a 25-year-old holding midfielder to Old Trafford in the summer.
It is understood that the midfielder wants the deal to be finalised before this summers World Cup in Russia. Fred has been selected by Brazil manager Tite as part of the 23-man squad which will travel to Russia for next months World Cup Finals.
The news will come as a blow to Pepe Guardiola and Manchester City who were keen on signing the midfielder during the January transfer window. It now seems Jose Mourinho and United board have stepped up their interest and are now on the brink of making him their first signing of the summer transfer window.
United stepped up their interest in the player after long-term serving player Michael Carrick decided to hang up his playing boots and retire.
The Brazilian currently has a €60m buy-out clause inserted into his contract which it seems United have matched to activate talks with the Ukrainians.
It seems after finishing 2nd in the Premier League, Jose Mourinho has started his rebuilding plans early with a clear plan to bring in quality players to allow the Red Devils to compete with rivals City next season.
Fred moved to Shakhtar back in 2013 in a deal worth €15m from Brazilian side Internacional. He has made over 100 appearances for the Ukrainian’s, scoring 10 goals in the process.
On the international stage, he has represented Brazil seven times. As mentioned earlier he will be part of the Brazil squad for Russia where he will be hoping to add more caps to his current tally. By then he should hopefully be a Manchester United player.