Growing Premier League interest in Brazilian hot-shot.
Tottenham and Chelsea could be set to fight it out for the signing of Fluminese and Brazil striker Fred, as the two clubs continue to seek reinforcements upfront, CaughtOffside understands.
The 29-year-old former Lyon man has been linked with a move back to European football this summer after some prolific form for the Brazilian national team. His five goals at the Confederations Cup in July, including a brace against Spain in the final, helped his country to victory in the tournament.
The likes of Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk had been linked with the bulky forward shortly after the tournament, though a move never materialised. It is thought that Atletico Madrid are also monitoring his situation, as they are still keen to bring in additions this summer after the £51million sale of Radamel Falcao to Monaco.
Chelsea have been very public in their pursuit of a new frontman, specifically targeting unsettled Manchester United star Wayne Rooney as their first choice to solve their problems upfront, as Fernando Torres and Demba Ba continue to disappoint for Jose Mourinho’s side.
However, with United determined not to sell the England international to a Premier League title rival, Chelsea have been forced to consider other options, and have been linked with the likes of Samuel Eto’o of Anzhi Makhachkala and Jackson Martinez of Porto.
Mourinho is slightly put off by issues regarding Eto’o’s hefty wage demands, with the Cameroon star thought to be demanding £300,000 a week, while Porto have insisted that they will not sell Martinez for anything below his minimum release clause fee of £35million.
Fred, who has an impressive record of 110 goals in 170 appearances for Fluminese, would likely be much cheaper at around £10million, and looks to have all the qualities that Mourinho looks for in a striker.
A lethal finisher, Fred also provides great height and strength upfront, and although he is not known to be the most skillful player, he looks like a forward who could cause problems for a number of Premier League defences.
Tottenham are also weighing up a bid for the Brazilian, as they continue their summer spending spree. With the lucrative £94million sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid all but finalised, Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is keen to bring in new goal scorers to replace the influential Welshman.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe had disappointing seasons for the club last year, scoring just 16 league goals between them, and although Spurs have already brought in Roberto Soldado from Valencia, they could be ready to compete with Chelsea for the signing of Fred to partner the Spaniard upfront.
Fred had a mixed time in his first spell in Europe with French side Lyon, scoring 41 goals in a four-year spell between 2005 and 2009 before returning to his native Brazil with Fluminese.