Manchester United are reportedly ready to step up their pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, who is a also long-time target for Manchester City

According to a report by Daily Mirror, Manchester United are determined to secure the services of Fred in the summer transfer window. The Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder is also the subject of interest from Manchester City, and is expected to join either side in the next window.

Fred has undergone a steady rise in stature since joining Shakhtar Donetsk over the last five seasons. Highly regarded as one of the most improving midfielders in Europe, the player is a key figure for the Ukrainian outfit, who look on course to win the league title again this season.

In recent months, Fred has become a highly sought-after player in the transfer market, with Premier League clubs in particular linked with him. The most concrete of interests is coming from both the Manchester clubs – Manchester United and Manchester City, who are set to trade blows in his pursuit in the summer.

A head-to-head battle beckons. (Photo courtesy - Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

A head-to-head battle beckons. (Photo courtesy – Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

At Manchester United, the need to bolster midfield has accentuated with Marouane Fellaini set to call it quits in the summer and Michael Carrick hanging up his boots at the end of the season. With Ander Herrera’s future uncertain as well, Fred is just the kind of player who can add steel in midfield and allow Pogba the freedom to advance forward.

Manchester City, on the other hand, are looking at Fred as Fernandinho’s long-term successor, just as he has done at Shakhtar. The Brazilian could be the understudy to his senior compatriot to begin with before eventually taking over as the first-choice holding midfielder.

It has long been believed that Manchester City are the favourites to land the 25-year-old, having also come close to securing his services in January. But, Manchester United were recently given a boost by Shakhtar CEO Sergei Palkin, who claimed that the Red Devils are still in the race to sign him.

What appears certain is that Fred is headed to England, with either Manchester United or Manchester City his most likely destination, with his advisor, former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva confirming that the player wants to play in the Premier League.

Shakhtar’s asking price, £50 million, is unlikely to deter either side either considering their purchasing power. It now remains to be seen which way the Fred heads off to in the summer, with both Manchester City and Manchester United vying for his signature.

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