Manchester City will reportedly step up their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, having told the Ukrainian club they are willing to pay £45 million for the midfielder.
According to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, that amount is less than what Shakhtar value the Brazilian at, although the interest from City makes clear the fact they want to sign the 24-year-old.
City manager Pep Guardiola reportedly views Fred as “a long-term successor for Fernandinho.” The intensified pursuit is said to be due to interest from Manchester United in the player.
The piece noted Fred would not be able to feature for City in the UEFA Champions League if he were to arrive this month. He impressed in two games against the Premier League leaders in the competition earlier in the term.
As noted by WhoScored.com, the midfielder shone at Europe’s top table, as Shakhtar progressed into the knockout stages:
Fernandinho is one of City’s most important players, as he does such a good job at the base of midfield.
The Brazilian breaks up play, wins the ball back and is adept in possession too, meaning he knits together so many positive aspects of the team’s play. Crucially, if the 32-year-old did have a spell on the sidelines, there isn’t another member of the squad capable of replicating his multifaceted influence.
The pursuit of Fred makes sense as a result, as he shares many of the same traits as his compatriot. However, with Shakhtar in the Champions League still—they face Roma in the last 16 next month—you sense they’ll be keen to hold their key midfielder until the end of the season at least.
Jean Michael Seri Interest Noted
According to Le Parisien (h/t Sport Witness), Guardiola gave the nod for a meeting to take place between City representatives and the agent of Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri, with a view to a possible transfer.
Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be admirers of Seri, although they are only willing to pay around €25 million (£22 million) to get the player in. Nice will reportedly let the playmaker go if an offer of €40 million (£35 million) is made.
City are reported to be leading the chase as a result, with the Ivorian’s agent flying into Manchester last week for a meeting.
Seri was one of the star men for Nice last season, as they launched an unexpected title charge under manager Lucien Favre. These numbers from earlier in the campaign sum up the impact he has on the side, per OptaJean:
The 26-year-old would seamlessly fit into Guardiola’s blueprint, as he’s a footballer who loves to get on the ball as frequently as possible. Seri is technically brilliant and has a wonderful appreciation of the game.
If he were to arrive, Seri would have competition from the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and llkay Gundogan, as the Nice star is not a natural holding player. If he wants to move and continue being a crucial player in a side, then City may not be the ideal destination.
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