12 Jan, 15:00
Manchester City has run away with the Premier League title race, so it looks like their battle with Manchester United will have to take place off the pitch.
The big transfer story of the past 24 hours has been that both Manchester United and Manchester City are chasing Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez.
For so long, Manchester City were considered to be the favourites to sign Alexis. Now Manchester United are firmly in the mix and whilst City remain favourites, we have seen transfer u-turns before. With the Alexis race firmly concentrating minds, it has now been reported that the big Manchester clubs are going head-to-head for another player: Fred.
Paul Hirst writes in The Times today: -Mourinho, meanwhile, is looking to buy Fred, the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, this month. The 24-year-old, who has been at Shakhtar since 2013, is valued at £30 million. City have also been linked with the Brazilian. Fred is a Brazilian defensive midfielder who has impressed for Shakhtar this season in the Champions League. At 24, and playing some fine football, Fred looks primed for a move to a big European club. Earlier this month Fred admitted that he would like to play for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and was waiting for his call.
Fred: -For sure, I would grow a lot with him. I have a lot of room to grow. I have not received (his call) yet, I’m just eagerly waiting. He’ll call me soon! At Manchester City, Fred would likely come in as back-up to Fernandinho. The Manchester United move for Fred tallies with reports that Jose Mourinho wants to buy another defensive midfielder.
If United signed Fred, they would be able to pair the Brazilian with Nemanja Matic and free up Paul Pogba.