It seems Jose Mourinho is keen to do his business early; after reports this morning that he is set to bolster his defence, fresh speculation this afternoon indicates that Manchester United are at an advanced stage in negotiations for Brazilian midfielder Fred.

Fred is one of three high profile Brazilian stars being linked with a move to United this summer alongside Alex Sandro of Juventus and Willian of Chelsea; Manchester City are also said to be interested in the midfielder who has just been named in Brazil’s World Cup squad.

Per Duncan Castles, a known Mourinho aide, of Yahoo:

Manchester United are working on a deal to make Brazil international Fred a central component of their close-season rebuild. The English Premier League club is understood to have proposed contractual terms to the central midfielder, who is awaiting the end of the Ukrainian campaign to negotiate an exit from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Regarded by many observers as the key figure in a Shakhtar side that has just secured back-to-back Ukrainian Premier League and Cup doubles, Fred is keen to develop his career at one of western Europe’s leading clubs. Following approaches from both Manchester clubs, the 25-year-old is hoping to secure a “respectful and professional” departure in which Shakhtar reward his contribution to their colours by discounting a €60million release clause.

Manchester City came close to securing Fred’s signature in the January transfer window, only for Shakhtar to refuse to compromise on the price of a player they wanted to retain for the Champions League knock-out phase. While City have also prioritised midfield reinforcement as they prepare to defend a Premier League title won with a record 100 points and retain an interest in Fred, the English champions regard Napoli’s Italy international Jorginho as an alternative option.

With this year being a World Cup year, it seems that Mourinho is set to do most of his business early.