Putting a Value on Brazil International and Possible Manchester City Target Fred

Alex Richards@@AA_RichardsContributor IJuly 9, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Fred of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's third goal to make the score 3-0 during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Final match between Brazil and Spain at Maracana on June 30, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

One of the stars of the show at this summer's Confederations Cup was without a doubt Brazil's centre-forward Fred.

Derided in some quarters as not quite good enough to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ronaldo, Pele and Romario, the Fluminense striker ended the competition having fully justified his place in Luiz Felipe Scolari's starting XI.

Five goals, including two in the 3-0 final victory over world champions Spain, and general all-round showings which helped to get the best out of his attacking colleagues have now surely ensured the striker's place in the Selecao XI over the next 12 months, injury permitting.

But really, Fred's showing at the tournament was a continuation of his excellent form since Scolari returned to the top job, and he now has nine goals in 10 games for the national team in 2013.

Throw in his tremendous club form in in the past two years, with the 29-year-old netting 42 goals in his last 53 Brasileirao matches and plenty more in other competitions also, and he's enjoying a golden period in his career.

Now, according to Mirror Football's David Maddock, Fred is being eyed up by Manchester City as a viable alternative to Edinson Cavani in their hunt for a new striker.

With 18 months left on his contract, he could be available and the player himself has hinted that whilst he's happy with his current club, there is indeed a slight chance he may leave Rio de Janeiro.

"I am doing great at Fluminense and I will only leave the club if there is a really great offer," Fred is quoted as saying to Maddock.

Indeed, the report insinuates that a "great offer" would be around the £7 million mark.

But is £7 million a logical figure?

For a start, he turns 30 in October. That, allied to his contract length, means that he wouldn't be the most expensive proposition on the market.

Moreover, considering Carlos Tevez, six months his junior and a more proven European entity, joined Juventus for £12 million, according to David Ornstein of BBC Sport, last month, any deal for Fred shouldn't approach anywhere near eight figures.

Thus, £7 million seems reasonable.

However, then there is the sour note on which Fred's last spell in Europe ended back in 2009, when he was released by French club Lyon, having flown to and refused to return from Brazil.

His record in French football was by no means bad, but after a bright start, he scored just 12 goals in his last 50 matches for Les Gones. Indeed, in his last six months with the club, he made 11 starts in Ligue 1 and struck just twice in those matches.

For a player whose primary assets are penalty box related, those are the sort of figures which aren't worth a fantastic amount of money. Also, considering Manchester City already have Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, two sharp goalscorers in their own right, both of whom offer more in terms of build-up play, already on their books, then is there need for Fred?

Certainly, first-choice target Edinson Cavani is a logical selection. An excellent finisher, he offers both a target in the penalty area when his side is dominating possession but is also comfortable working the flanks or dropping deeper to lend a hand when necessary. Hence why figures for the Uruguayan are somewhat more exorbitant.

On the other hand Fred is a player who, outside the widths of the penalty box, is rather wasted. He is a far more stationary presence than either Cavani, Dzeko or Aguero: Is that static threat something that City reckon will make the difference at the highest levels?

There's no doubt that Fred has quality and that he is something of a throwback to a bygone era where No. 9's were asked to do nothing more than put the ball in the back of the net. This summer proved as much.

But last season's Champions League final showed just how varied and wide-reaching the role of the No. 9 has become at the very pinnacle of the European game.

Any figure for Fred, taking into account his playing style, age, contract and previous history, will only ask more questions. Though stellar for Brazil and in Brazilian football, he's a risk at any figure exceeding £7 million.