Manchester City are the favourites to land Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred ahead of Manchester United, claims former manager Mircea Lucesu.

As reported by Daily Mirror, former Shakhtar Donetsk manager Mircea Lucescu has claimed that Brazilian midfielder Fred will join Manchester City in the summer. The 24-year-old is also the subject of interest from Manchester United.

Fred’s career has been on an upward trajectory ever since he left Brazil to join Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2013. Now in his fifth season at the Ukrainian club, the player is considered by many as their best player, having built a steady reputation since being deployed as a holding midfielder by Mircea Lucescu.

And it is the former Shakhtar manager, who has gone on to claim that Fred will be joining Manchester City ahead of local rivals Manchester United in the summer transfer window, where he is likely to be a highly sought-after figure in the market.

“Shakhtar Donetsk’s best player is Fred in the centre of midfield. He was a bit anarchic on the left. I moved him in front of the defence. He will go to City like Fernandinho before him.”

It looks like Fred could now be set to replace his predecessor at Manchester City. Fernandinho has been a true asset for the Citizens over the last four seasons, having been one of the first names on the team sheet, regardless of the manager in charge of the club, and excelling in the holding midfield role.

But, the Brazilian will be 33 by the time the current campaign ends, and it is clear that he is in the twilight of his career, making the need to sign a defensive midfielder an urgent one. Going by the qualities that Fred has shown at Shakhtar, the signs point towards the move to Manchester City being a successful one, potentially.

As far as Manchester United are concerned, the interest in Fred could stem from the fact that Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera are being heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford. He could also be seen as a potential successor to Nemanja Matic who, at 29, is only a short-term holding midfield solution for the club.

But, it looks like Manchester United are set to face defeat in pursuit of the midfielder, whose heart is set on a move to Manchester City. His £50 million price tag is not much of a problem for the Premier League leaders either, and it remains to be seen if the Red Devils can do anything to lure Fred towards Old Trafford instead.

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