Manchester clubs battle it out for Brazilian ace

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho

Manchester United and Manchester City are both understood to be in pursuit of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho in January, the Mirror reports.

It is believed the two Manchester rivals are poised to do battle for the signature of Shakhtar’s £16.5million rated Brazilian, with the player also stating earlier this month that he was set to leave the Russian champions in the winter window.

It had been suggested that City had become favourites to sign the 27-year-old however Sir Alex Ferguson is now ready to rival Roberto Mancini in a bid to bring him to Old Trafford instead.

The Ukranian champions have had an impressive Champions League campaign this season, qualifying in second place in group E ahead of current cup holders Chelsea.

Brazilian Fernandinho has been instrumental in this success, scoring in the 2-1 win over Chelsea last month and his performances in Europe have attracted interest from a host of top clubs, but it seems Manchester will be his destination.

He joined Shakhtar in 2005 and during his time has scored 51 goals in 273 appearances in all competitions while also earning his first international cap for Brazil in 2011.

Manchester United currently sit six points clear of City at the top of the Premier League. If they could snatch Fernandinho out of the grasp of their neighbours as well, then it would leave the Red Devils in an even stronger position to claim their title back.