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Fabinho; the versatile Brazilian who would make any team better!

Fabinho has once again been linked with Manchester United ahead of the summer transfer window opening and he is a player United could do with. The Brazilian has become a mainstay for AS Monaco during the time he has been at the club, starting as a right-back, which is where United’s first bit of interest came two years ago, but since then, he has been converted into a defensive midfielder and during Monaco’s Ligue 1 title-winning season, he has performed at a high level, showing his talent, especially in the UEFA Champions League, a competition United return to after one and a half seasons out of the competition. This will be a big summer window for United and Jose Mourinho, who will be looking to assemble a team capable of building on this season’s FA Community Shield, EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League winning season. Fabinho would do a job to fortify United’s midfield, allowing Paul Pogba to play his role in midfield unhindered, bringing out the best of him.

What is being reported and by who?

The Sun have reported that Manchester United, Manchester City, and Juventus will all try and sign the Brazilian midfielder, who can also play at right-back this summer. The report suggests a fee as low as £25 million with Monaco rating the player at £30 million, which when you look at transfer fees right now, represents a good deal for a player of his calibre. Fabinho is only 23 with the world at his feet right now. The Express have reported the same claims as The Sun, citing reports in Italy as the source that Juventus will get involved in the transfer battle for one of the best defensive minded midfielders in Europa at this moment in time. This is not the first time The Sun have reported a transfer story about Fabinho though, suggesting that Atletico Madrid were also interested in the player, only a few days before their report about Juventus getting themselves involved in the tussle for the player. Both the Manchester Evening News and The Metro had previously reported United’s interest in Fabinho, the MEN citing him along with Kylian Mbappe were the targets, the Metro suggesting it was Fabinho and Toni Kroos of Real Madrid. Wishful thinking maybe?

What type of player is Fabinho?

Fabinho started as a right-back at Monaco, a position he can still play in, but more recently he has been playing in the defensive central midfield role. This is an area United need to strengthen in after allowing both Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger to leave the club during 2017 and Michael Carrick seemingly out of contract, which could see him retire from the game after his testimonial which will be played at Old Trafford a week on Sunday. Fabinho is contracted to Monaco until the summer of 2021, which will mean any club buying him will have to negotiate a price, which seems to be around the £30 million mark, according to reports at least. Bernardo Silva has signed for Manchester City for €50 million though, so Monaco could charge more for Fabinho, providing there were at least two of three interested clubs, which seems to be the case. Clubs needing a player in the position of Fabinho would be stupid not to look into the option of signing the player and trying to get a deal across the line. Fabinho, 23, have played 55 matches during the past season, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, which is not bad for a defensive midfielder. That being said, Ligue 1 is not one of the most competitive in Europe, so that level may not be the barometer of success he would be expected to churn out each season in a tougher league such as the Premier League.

Likelihood of the transfer?

Juventus seem to head the queue for the player with reports suggesting they will pay for full £30 million valuation for Fabinho, with both United and City looking for a deal at £25 million, according to reports at least. The problem for Juventus seems to be that the player has spoken about his hunger to play in the Premier League. Fabinho was a target for United almost two years ago now with Louis van Gaal having the player scouted, but United instead signing Matteo Darmian for the right-back position. Antonio Valencia stepped up his game to lead in that position with Darmian now playing left-back, a position he seems to be proficient in, some of the time at least. Fabinho’s father has stated that they both like Manchester United and Jose Mourinho, but they have a soft spot for Manchester City, which kind of gives no clue as to the destination for Fabinho this summer. Manchester City have already purchased Bernardo Silva from Monaco and are keen on Benjamin Mendy. Based on the fact Monaco will not want to lose three talented players, especially to the same club, if City sign Mendy too, Fabinho might not be heading to the Etihad. He is a player United could do with, fortifying the midfield in a defensive aspect and playing second fiddle to Antonio Valencia, should he become injured or if he needed to be rested ahead of bigger fixtures.

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