Manchester City supporters have been slightly downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side only muster a 1-1 draw at Burnley on Saturday, thus seeing their lead at the summit of the Premier League cut to 13 points.
Pep Guardiola’s men went into the early kick-off at Turf Moor knowing that victory would take them 18 points clear of neighbours Manchester United, which would have been the largest gap ever between the top two clubs in the Premier League era. And they were well on their way to doing so as Danilo gave them a first half lead, only for Johann Berg Gudmundsson to clinch a point for Sean Dyche’s side eight minutes from the end, allowing United to close the gap to 13 points with a routine win over Huddersfield Town later in the day.
Thus, there have been some slightly downbeat City fans in the Tavern in recent times, although they are likely to be encouraged by recent comments from former Shakhtar Donetsk and now Turkey manager Mircea Lucescu (via The Daily Mirror), which suggests that midfielder Fred will opt for City over neighbours United.
The 24-year-old made the move to the Ukrainian outfit back in 2013 and has since played a key role in their success, appearing 142 times to help the club to the league title back in 2014, as well as numerous other domestic trophies.
And the Brazil international has clearly been doing something right as reports recently have linked both Man City and Man United with his services, yet Fred’s ex-boss Lucescu says that he has already decided to make the move to the Etihad Stadium.
He said: ‘Shakhtar Donetsk’s best player is Fred in the centre of midfield. He was a bit anarchic on the left. I moved him in front of the defence.
‘He will go to City like Fernandinho before him.’
And these comments are sure to intrigue and delight our resident City supporters, with Fred almost certainly going to bolster their midfield ranks and perhaps become the long-term successor to compatriot Fernandinho at Eastlands.
Landlord’s verdict: Fernandinho’s efforts in the heart of Manchester City’s midfield have been hugely integral in the last few years, yet at the age of 32 attentions will begin turning to who can fill his boots in the years to come.
And it appears that compatriot Fred is the man Pep Guardiola wants to do just that, with the Citizens linked with the 24-year-old in recent times, as have neighbours Manchester United.
Yet Fred’s former boss Mircea Lucescu, now in charge of Turkey, suggests that the midfielder will indeed choose City over the advances of bitter rivals United.
And having already replaced Fernandinho once in his career, having done so at Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2013, there’s no reason why he can’t do so again at City.
Man City fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!