Former Gunner Gilberto Silva tried to help Fred seal a move from Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester City this January, according to reports.

Brazilian outlet UOL write that the two clubs came close to an agreement over a deal worth around €35m in January. Gilberto now represents the midfielder, and the former Arsenal man led talks to try and seal the deal.

Unfortunately for City, the Ukrainians dug their feet in to keep the player until the end of the season. Still, the Manchester side are very confident that they’ll land their man in the summer.

Fred is a regular in the Donetsk side at the moment, both domestically and in the Champions League campaign. He played the full 90 minutes as the team beat City in 2-1 in the final group stage match in December. Clearly he did enough to impress Pep Guardiola that day.

Meanwhile, Gilberto joins a growing list of former Arsenal midfielders to help City out in one way or another. Patrick Vieira spent two seasons as Football Development Executive at the club. He oversaw youth development, commercial partners and the club’s social responsibility programme.

Then Mikel Arteta joined Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff last summer, taking on his first coaching role. Of course, former Arsenal players such as Samir Nasri have also represented City on the pitch.