Arsenal have joined Manchester City in the race for Shakthar midfielder Fred with a view of a summer transfer.

According to Transfermarket Web, Arsenal are also in the race for Fred and with Manchester City already supposedly in the race for the Brazilian midfield enforcer, the battle to sign him is going to hot up early in the summer.

Arsenal have had problems in midfield, and Arsene Wenger knows, the centre of the park is an area he needs to improve in the transfer window. With the Gunners busy looking for attacking reinforcements in the January window, the recruitment of a central midfielder is set to go about in the summer window after the season ends.

Arsenal’s current options in central midfield are Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, who is set to sign a new deal if reports are accurate. There have been somewhat inconsistent performances from these midfield stars for Arsenal this season, and apart from Ramsey, nobody has been convincing enough to warrant a place in the long-term future.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JULY 28: Fred of Shaktar Donetsk rides the ball past Fenerbahce's Souza during UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round 1st Leg match betweeen Fenerbahce v Shakhtar Donetsk at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on July 28, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

Fred (right) has been a regular starter at Shakhtar and Arsene Wenger hopes to sign him to fill the midfield void left by the injured Santi Cazorla, and the departed Francis Coquelin.  (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

The absence of Santi Cazorla and the recent sale of Francis Coquelin means Arsenal have to look to the future of their midfield and add enough depth to be able to compete in a long season. Coquelin’s sale, especially, means Arsenal are without a bonafide defensive midfielder in their ranks, with only Wilshere the closest they have got currently.

The pursuit of Fred from Shakhtar shows Arsene Wenger is ready to bolster his midfield with a proven star who could cover the defence as well dictate proceedings during games. He also likes to contribute a rare goal or two from midfield as he has done this season.

Fred has been a regular for Shakhtar, and the clubs thrive on a system based on young players, especially South Americans. Over the years, the Ukranian club has produced some stars including the likes of Fernandinho and Willian. Their impressive track record of developing young, unpolished talent has taken the club afar, sporting-wise and financially.

Arsenal, of course, are not alone in the race for Fred, as Manchester City are also regarded contenders for his signature. Despite the position of central midfield being safeguarded by former Shakhtar star Fernandinho, Pep Guardiola would want someone for the long-term future and as a replacement for the Brazilian, despite City pushing to extend Fernandinho’s current deal.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Fernandinho of Manchester City celebrates his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Fernandinho has been integral this season as Manchester City have a 12-point at the summit of the Premier League. (Photo courtesy: AFP/Getty Images)

Fred is considered as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and at a right age of 24, he would represent as the perfect player to play in the Manchester City midfield. Reports suggest a fee of £30 million for the Brazilian, but given the current market inflation, it is expected to be more than £40 million in the summer or even more.

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