Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred will join Manchester City in the summer, his former coach Mircea Lucescu has said.
Sources have told ESPN FC that City are interested in a move for the Brazil international to provide competition for Fernandinho in the holding role.
Manchester United were considered potential rivals for his signature, according to reports, after persuading Alexis Sanchez to move to Old Trafford when he had seemed destined for City.
However, Lucescu, now the Turkey national team manager, said Fred will follow in the footsteps of Fernandinho, who moved from Shakhtar to City in 2013.
"Shakhtar Donetsk's best player is Fred in the centre of midfield," he said. "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."
City coach Pep Guardiola was impressed by Fred's performances when they met Shakhtar in the Champions League group stages.
Sources told ESPN FC that City were keen to try to sign Fred in January but Shakhtar were unwilling to sell after reaching of the Champions League round-of-16.
But they remain interested in bringing Fred to the Etihad Stadium for next season and will try to conclude a deal early in the summer.
Yaya Toure, who can also play in a defensive midfield role, is out of contract at the end of the season and is not expected to be offered a new deal.