Manchester United are reportedly leading rivals Manchester City in the race to sign Monaco star Fabinho.

According to Alex Terrell of The Sun, Manchester United are in pole position to sign AS Monaco’s Brazilian defender-cum-midfielder Fabinho in the summer, ahead of rivals Manchester City.

The Red Devils have already seen one transfer target being snatched by the Citizens as Portuguese wing wizard Bernado Silva, who was on the radar of both Manchester clubs, recently completed his move to City for a reported £43 million.

Thus, United are now doing all they can to ensure that they do not lose out on another player, particularly to their nearest rivals. They are still to sign a player in the summer while City have already signed Bernardo and Ederson Moraes.

Signing Fabinho will be no mean task as City will constantly be looking to offer a higher fee than their local rivals, which could pave the way for a bidding war. Both sides are willing to spend in the summer, and are ready to loosen their purse strings to rope in quality players.

Until a few days back, La Liga side Atletico Madrid were also in the lookout for a defensive midfielder, and Fabinho was understood to be on their shortlist. Los Rojiblancos endured a disappointing 2016/17 league season, and were looking to sign the Brazilian to turn their fortunes around.

However, Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban has recently been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport as FIFA have turned down their appeal. This would mean that they will not be able to sign or register any players until the January transfer window next year.

MONACO - MARCH 15: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City is tracked by Fabinho of Monaco during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between AS Monaco and Manchester City FC at Stade Louis II on March 15, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Fabinho impressed for Monaco during their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Manchester City as he exploited the frailties in the opposition midfield. (Photo Courtesy: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Thus, that puts the capital outfit out of the equation, for the time being at least, in the race to sign Fabinho. The pathway is clear for United and City to vie for the highly-rated 23-year-old’s services.

United appear to be leading the race to sign the player as Jose Mourinho has identified him as the man to bolster his side’s midfield and add a physical presence in the middle of the park to complement the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba.

Mourinho has turned to Fellaini to play the role of the destroyer this past season. However, Fabinho would definitely serve as an upgrade to the Belgian in the middle of the park as Mourinho sets about challenging for top honours, both in the Premier League and the Champions League.

Fabinho perfectly fits the bill for the Old Trafford outfit, and may take little to no time in adapting to the fast and frenetic nature of the Premier League. At 23, he is still to hit his peak, and may offer his services at the top level for many years to come.

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