Brazil midfielder Fred has admitted that talks over a summer switch to Manchester United are at “an advanced stage” despite revealing his main focus is on the World Cup.
The Shakhtar Donetsk star has been a major target for Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho since the winter transfer window and it would appear that United are very close to getting their man.
And the 25-year-old has revealed that his representatives, including former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva, have been in contact with the Old Trafford hierarchy over a deal.
“Talks have been at an advanced stage since January, if I am not mistaken,” as reported on ESPN.
“There was a possible transfer to [Man] City. Shortly after, both clubs, City and United talked with Shakhtar and with my agents about a possible transfer.
“And if I am not mistaken, there was news of a strong bid by United. But I am focused solely on the World Cup.
“My agents are taking care of this, led by Gilberto Silva. He’s a very calm guy, one that I give all the freedom [to decide], as he is someone I deeply trust.”
Fred had been a major target for Premier League champions City but sources told ESPN that Pep Guardiola has switched his focus to Napoli midfielder Jorginho instead.
As for United, Mourinho has made the signing of at least one new central midfielder his top priority this summer, with Michael Carrick hanging up his boots and continuing doubts over whether free agent Marouane Fellaini will stay at the club.
United are said to be confident of sealing the deal before the World Cup gets under way in a few weeks time, with Fred adding: “It’s an honour to be on the radar of great European coaches.
“They are two great coaches from Manchester, as well as our national head coach. But I believe I have a versatility on the pitch and I’m a multi-skilled player, being able to play in both midfield positions.
“I believe that some coaches need that with their teams. I think that this grabs the attention of some coaches and I think it is an important point for me.”
The best United news direct to your Facebook timeline: Like our dedicated Manchester Utd Facebook page.