It was all the talk over the summer, and again in January, that Manchester City were in hot pursuit of Fred. Shakhtar Donetsk were in our Champions League group and he looked a decent player to come in as an alternative to Fernandinho.
The talk of similarities between Fernandinho and Fred are well known. Both are Brazilian, and both play similar positions, doing a similar job. The 25-year-old moved to Shakhtar at the age of 20, and is now in his fifth season with the Ukrainian side. Fernandinho also joined Shakhtar, aged 20 and left for City the same season Fred joined.
But when January came, and the window opened, talk cooled on Fred’s move to the Etihad. Maybe it was because the Brazilian wanted to see out his sides Champions League progression. Remember, they had progressed to the knockout stage at the expense of Napoli, although they are now also out.
That is one possibility, while another is City were obsessed with the signing of Alexis Sanchez, and then Riyad Mahrez. Neither target was achieved, with Mahrez remaining at Leicester and Sanchez opting to join Manchester United.
Now, news coming out of the Ukrainian side is talk that Manchester United could again steal our target. In a reversal of the respective clubs fortunes, it is now United who find themselves overpaying to get talent.
Pep Guardiola has made no secret of the fact he will not overpay for players, as proven with Sanchez. Pulling the plug on the deal, which had apparently already been signed, after the Chileans wage demands increased.
It was a similar story with Leicester City, who rejected numerous offers. Pricing their player way above Manchester City’s valuation City withdrew once more. The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior, and ours is that we will not overpay any longer.
So, with that in mind, and with Fernandinho not getting younger, who might we turn to? One name which I think could be good for the Blues is Leandro Paredes. Currently at Zenit, the young Argentinian is two years younger than Fred.
Bought by Zenit for €23 million he was on the Etihad field for Argentina’s game against Italy on Friday. Hopefully Otamendi and Aguero gave him a decent tour of the ground. Then, when he gets back to his club, he can ask his manager to consider selling him. His manager, of course, Roberto Mancini.