Fred says Manchester United talks at an advanced stage but I’m focused on World Cup

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Brazil midfielder Fred said he is fully focused on the World Cup despite admitting talks over a summer move to Manchester United are at “an advanced stage.”

Sources have told ESPN FC that United are keen to secure the services of the 25-year-old if they can agree a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk.

And Fred has revealed his representatives, including former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva, have been in contact with the deal-makers at Old Trafford.

“Talks have been at an advanced stage since January, if I am not mistaken,” he said. “There was a possible transfer to City. Shortly after, both clubs, City and United talked with Shakhtar and with my agents about a possible transfer.

“And if I am not mistaken, there was news of a strong bid by United. But I am focused solely on the World Cup.

“My agents are taking care of this, led by Gilberto Silva. He’s a very calm guy, one that I give all the freedom [to decide], as he is someone I deeply trust.”

Fred was a target for Manchester City but sources have told ESPN FC manager Pep Guardiola has moved on to other options including Napoli midfielder Jorginho.

Jose Mourinho has made a central midfielder his top priority this summer following Michael Carrick’s retirement and sources have told ESPN FC United are hopeful a deal could be concluded before Brazil start their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov on June 17.

“It’s an honour to be on the radar of great European coaches,” added Fred.

“They are two great coaches from Manchester, as well as our national head coach. But I believe I have a versatility on the pitch and I’m a multi-skilled player, being able to play in both midfield positions.

“I believe that some coaches need that with their teams. I think that this grabs the attention of some coaches and I think it is an important point for me.”

Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.