Fred set to finalise Man United move early this week

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Manchester United have been heavily linked to Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred and latest reports suggest he will complete his transfer to the Premier League giants early this week.

The Brazilian featured as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 win friendly over Croatia on Sunday.

Fred is set to have a medical at United ahead of a move to Old Trafford worth £52m.

Brazil coach Tite is keen for his players to settle their futures ahead of the tournament in Russia.

“When this happens, and it is inevitable, they are going to come to us and our advice to them is resolve this as soon as you can so your head is back with us and focusing on the national team,” he said after the World Cup warm-up game at Anfield.

“If I was a manager I’d ask to sign him as well.”

Fred is expected to become United’s first signing of the summer while Porto full-back Diogo Dalot is also on Jose Mourinho’s wish list.

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Man United target among top five World Cup 2018 players set for summer moves

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Cristian Pavon celebrates with Lionel Messi for Argentina.

The greatest shop window in football is set to imminently open.

World Cups send the transfer market into overdrive, forcing clubs to reassess their business as fresh targets grab their attention. This was the case in Brazil four years ago when Colombia playmaker’s James Rodriguez’s startling six-goal haul convinced Real Madrid to spend £71 million (Dh447.2m) and procure him from Monaco.

This process is sure to repeat during the coming weeks in Russia as emerging prospects earn their step up to the big time.

Here, we run through a list of footballers who will be keenly watched by scouts.

HIRVING LOZANO

Mexico v Scotland - International Friendly

PSV Eindhoven winger Lozano is the latest prospect off the production line from Mexico to Europe.

Regularly playing as an inverted left winger, his tally of eight assists and 17 goals played a key role in last term’s Eredivisie title success during a debut campaign to cherish.

The 22-year-old had been linked to both Manchester giants while at Pachuca. A World Cup-campaign that continues his form from the Netherlands could convince a super power to take the plunge.

SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

FBL-WC-2018-SRB-TRAINING

One of the highest transfer fees of the 2018 transfer window will have to be paid to snare the Serbia centre midfielder from Lazio.

Labelled ‘Mr 100 million’ by La Gazzetta dello Sport thanks to his domination of Serie A midfields in 2017/18 and 12-goal haul, the multi-talented 23-year-old is already an object of intense desire, with Manchester United emerging as one of the interested parties.

How he gets on for Serbia – after being snubbed for qualifying – will be key to what happens next.

BENJAMIN PAVARD

FBL-FRIENDLY-FRA-ITA

A defender of Pavard’s talents deserves better than performing for the Bundesliga’s seventh-placed side.

Pavard, 22, is blessed with elegance on the ball and a keen sense of anticipation. These skills mean he has emerged as a likely starter at right-back for France.

This is not his usual position for Stuttgart, where he is picked at centre-back. Versatility that has already been noted by North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

CRISTIAN PAVON

FBL-WC-2018-ARG-TRAINING

A secret weapon has emerged for Argentina to unleash at World Cup 2018.

Boca Juniors forward Pavon, 22, has done what the likes of Juventus’ Paulo Dybala and Internazionale’s Mauro Icardi have failed to do – get on a wavelength with Barcelona icon Lionel Messi. This relationship, already witnessed in the friendly against Haiti, will have prospective employers purring.

If goals are added to his repertoire in Russia, then the path to Europe opens up further for the €37-rated (Dh181.4m) attacker.

PIONE SISTO

Denmark v Panama - International Friendly

It is a good time to be Denmark’s centre forward.

A supply line that contains Celta Vigo left winger Sisto and Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen is sure to be profitable. The former mentioned has a £40m (Dh196.1m) release clause in La Liga, an amount that hasn’t dissuaded the likes of Everton and Southampton  from pursuing him.

Pull the strings against elite opposition such as France and this list is sure to grow.

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Manuel Neuer injury doubts see Bayern Munich scout England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford

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Jordan Pickford playing for England v Nigeria.

Questions marks about Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s long-term fitness have seen Bayern Munich plan to keep scouting Everton and England No1 Jordan Pickford at World Cup 2018, according to reports.

Pickford, 24, has emerged as Gareth Southgate’s first-choice between the posts after an outstanding debut campaign on Merseyside following last June’s £25 million (Dh122.6m) switch from relegated Sunderland.

The Sun state that such form has not gone unnoticed by the perennial Bundesliga champions. Neuer, 32, has only just recovered from a serious foot injury that caused him to miss eight months of 2017/18’s march to the title.

Pickford’s similar ability on the ball and shot-stopping prowess has convinced them to watch him in action in Russia this summer.

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