Manchester United are in advanced talks with Shakhtar Donetsk for Fred and a deal is close, according to Sky sources.
It is understood the Premier League side want to sign the 25-year-old Brazilian midfielder before the World Cup, which begins on June 14.
Fred - who has seven caps for Brazil - has been named in their squad for the tournament in Russia.
Manchester City were believed to be keen on signing Fred in January as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, but it now appears their biggest rivals will beat them to his signature.
Gilberto Silva - the former Arsenal midfielder - works as Fred's advisor and he told The Debate in March that the Shakhtar man wanted to move to the Premier League.
Fred joined the Ukrainian side in 2013 from Internacional in his native Brazil.