Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Brazil midfielder Fred, sources have told ESPN FC.
The 25-year-old is expected to have a medical this week before finalising his €55 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk, becoming Jose Mourinho’s first signing of the summer.
Fred featured as a second-half substitute in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.
“I am entirely focused on the training sessions here,” he said when asked about United’s interest after the game. “I’m leaving these topics to my agent.”
When it was suggested that a move could be completed as early as Monday, he did not give anything away.
“Who knows?” he said.” It can be but I’m very focused here.”
While the rest of his teammates were travelling back to their pre-World Cup base at Hotspur Way in Enfield, he appeared to send a tweet from Manchester — 30 miles away from Liverpool — before swiftly deleting the post.
Mourinho has made signing a central midfielder his top priority this summer after Michael Carrick announced his retirement to become part of United’s coaching staff.
United have been chasing Fred, who scored 14 goals in 156 games during five seasons in Ukraine, since January. After facing initial competition from Manchester City, Pep Guardiola ended his interest to focus on Napoli’s Italy international Jorginho.
Sources have told ESPN FC that United have also hopeful of concluding a deal for Porto defender Diogo Dalot. United, according to sources, are willing to pay the Portuguese side more than Dalot’s €20m release clause in a bid to push through a deal.
The 19-year-old, who arrived in London over the weekend, can play at right-back and left-back with Mourinho keen to add competition for regular full-backs Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, who both turn 33 this year.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.