Shakhtar star Fred bound for Manchester

European giants confirm £45m Brazil star will join Man United or Man City

Manchester United and Manchester City are battling for Fred’s signature

"Fred will leave in July", he said, as reported by Sporx.

Rivals Manchester City and Manchester United will do battle for Brazil worldwide Fred come the end of the season, according to Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin. Or at Manchester United as Chelsea, Arsenal. clubs of great tradition in Europe and England.

It's understood City were on the verge of signing Fred - who was being viewed as Fernandinho's long-term replacement - but the runaway Premier League leaders have now pulled out of the transfer race.

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United were said to be considering a move for the 25-year-old in January before they signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Julian Weigl has been scouted intensely by Manchester City and he now looks like the more favourable option. Mourinho has identified centre midfield as a position he wants to strengthen in the summer and Fred would be a great addition to Mourinho's squad.

United have also been tracking Fred and, with Michael Carrick to retire and Marouane Fellaini expected to leave in the summer, the Red Devils could now make a move for the midfielder when the transfer window opens. He has completed 443 passes in the champions league this season and boasts an 85% completion rate. City were favourites to sign the midfielder but Palkin has thrown spanner in the works with his comments and United fans will now be fancying their chances of landing the Shakhtar midfielder.

Fred has been a stand out player for the Ukrainian champions in this season's Champions League as his goal gave Shakhtar a one-goal advantage against Roma in their last 16 first leg match in Donetsk. "It is the best league in the world, I have no doubt, and I believe that my football would evolve", he added.

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