Battle for Fred gathering pace

Manchester City and Manchester United are ready to do battle over Brazilian star Fred.

As we revealed in January, United have had an interest in the Shakhtar Donetsk since last summer – and they are still big admirers.

Man City have also identified Fred as one of their top targets for the summer, and indeed they tried to complete a deal for him in Februrary – knowing that the Premier League window now closes at the start of August rather than the end, they want to get their deals tied up quickly, but they were unable to agree terms with Shakthar.

But their chief executive Sergei Palkin has confirmed that Fred will be heading to Manchester this summer.

“Fred will leave in June. If not to Manchester City, then to Manchester United,” Palkin told Corriere dello Sport.

“He is ready for the best championships. ‘In addition to being very good, Fred is very professional.”

Sources close to the deal have told me that City remain interested but United are ready to compete for a player rated very high by Jose Mourinho’s scouts – who think he would be ideal next to Nemanja Matic.

Bookmakers certainly believe this is a two-horse race for Fred – with United currently favourites as 2/1 with BetVictor and City at 4/1.

BetVictor’s Head of ante post Football Michael Triffitt commented: “Fred is 2/1 favourite to join Manchester United this summer with the Red Devils keen to improve their squad rivals Manchester City have also been linked and are 4/1 and its 12/1 bar the pair.”

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