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Jose wants to make this midfielder 2nd Man Utd January signing

Alexis Sanchez has so far been the only signing Manchester United have made during the January transfer window.

We have been linked to a number of players throughout the month but now only have until 11pm on Wednesday if we are to bring in any other players for the second half of the 2017-18 campaign.

The Express are today reporting that Jose Mourinho wants to make Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred our second signing of the month.

However, we face stiff competition from rivals Manchester City who are also believed to be keen on the Brazilian.  We won the race with the Premier League leaders to the capture of Alexis Sanchez this past week.

Fred is a holding midfielder who played every Champions League group stage game for Shakhtar Donetsk this season, in which the Ukrainian side finished above Napoli to qualify for the second round after beating City in their final group game.

He is a tough tackler who doesn’t have the best of disciplinary records, which includes being sent off in his last Ukrainian Premier League game before the winter Christmas break.

Shakhtar Donetsk value the 24-year-old at £50 million, which may not put us off, whilst Manchester City refused to offer more than £20 million for Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal earlier this month, despite their financial clout.  They are also strongly being linked with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte for £57 million this week.

Fred has six caps for the Brazil national team and the Express are reporting that it could be a straight fight between us and City between now and this week’s transfer deadline to sign the deep playmaker.

We currently have Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba as the regular partnership in front of the back four, but the latter could be pushed forward into the number 10 role to link up closer with new arrival Alexis Sanchez.  Having another out-and-out holding midfielder would be particularly important when we face the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal etc.

Michael Carrick is now 36 and is widely-expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires.  Marouane Fellaini has also been strongly linked with a move away from the club also, whilst Fred offers greater mobility than both Matic and Fellaini.

It will be an interesting few days to see if either Manchester United or City can attract Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.