Manchester City may have just hinted at Guardiola's next signing as Kayode departs

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at DW Stadium on February 19, 2018 in Wigan,...

Manchester City have sent striker Olarenwaju Kayode to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at DW Stadium on February 19, 2018 in Wigan,...

The Ukrainian transfer deadline passed on Saturday, and just days earlier, Manchester City sent striker Olarenwaju Kayode out on loan to Shakhtar Donetsk with a view to a permanent move.

City made the curious move to snap up Kayode over the summer, landing the Nigerian forward after an impressive record of 37 goals in 85 games for Austria Vienna, though he was immediately loaned out to Girona in Spain.

Kayode made little impact in La Liga, failing to score in 12 games before being sent out to Shakhtar, where he will now compete with the likes of Facundo Ferreyra and Gustavo Blanco Leschuk.

Sevilla's midfielder from Italy Franco Vazquez (L) vies with Girona's Nigerian forward Larry Kayode during the Spanish league football match Girona FC vs Sevilla FC at at the Municipal de...

Kayode's loan exit and possible permanent move won't make many headlines given his status at City, but his move to the Donbass Arena may just have dropped a hint over Pep Guardiola's next big-money signing at the Etihad Stadium.

ESPN reported days ago that City were hoping to use Kayode as a sweetener in a potential summer deal for Shakhtar midfielder Fred, and that move appears to be drawing closer after Shakhtar landed Kayode.

Brazilian ace Fred, 24, has been a regular for Shakhtar since his 2013 move from Internacional, and his all-action displays appear to have attracted Guardiola's interest as a future successor to Fernandinho in holding midfield.

Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Fred controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk on November 21, 2017 at the San Paolo...

With the World Cup coming up, City won't want to risk seeing Fred impress and moving elsewhere, and the deal for Kayode appears to be the first step to making sure Fred heads to the Etihad Stadium this summer.

A versatile midfielder who even played at left back earlier in his career, Fred may fill a similar role to Fabian Delph, and it now seems almost inevitable that he will be City's first signing of the summer as Guardiola's chases improvements to his champions-elect side.

Paris Saint-Germain's French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli (L) vies with Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Fred during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris-...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch