Man United handed boost in race for £44.5m South American

Manchester City are reportedly unlikely to bid for the services of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred this summer due to a disagreement over the proposed transfer fee.

Pep Guardiola’s side had been tipped to land the 25-year-old in the January transfer window, having identified him as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but the move failed to materialise.

Last month it was claimed that City had agreed a £44.5m deal to bring in the Brazilian ahead of next season but according to The Times, City have now abandoned their pursuit of the player and have moved on to other targets.

The newspaper cites sources as saying that it is “unlikely” that Fred will move to the blue half of Manchester next term and the club are instead looking at the likes of Borussia Dortmund youngster Julian Weigl to bolster their options in the middle of the park.

City’s alleged decision to drop interest in Fred means that he could instead be set for a move to Manchester United, who are believed to have scouted him extensively in the last few months and are in the market for replacements for Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini.

Earlier this week Shakhtar chief executive Sergei Palkin insisted that Fred will be moving to one of the two Manchester clubs this summer.