Manchester United have been given encouragement that a deal can be reached to sign Fabinho in the future.
Monaco’s defensive midfielder was strongly linked with a move over the summer after playing an integral role in his club’s Ligue 1 title win and run in the Champions League.
While many of his team-mates moved on, Fabinho remained at Monaco. But the French club’s vice-president has signalled a future move is possible.
‘He’s one of the key players in our squad, a very regular player,’ Vadim Vasilyev told Sky Sports.
‘He’s very important, we can always count on. We are very happy that we managed to keep him. I think this is one player you want to keep forever.
‘But we realise in Monaco we have a certain model, that at a certain moment when we feel it’s right we have to let players go in order to be successful again. This is not only about money; this is more about being successful.’
Vasilyev revealed that Manchester United and Man City had shown ‘strong’ interest in the Brazilian player.
Jose Mourinho is seeking midfield reinforcements with Michael Carrick almost certain to retire next summer while Pep Guardiola’s willingness to spend is well documented. Reports suggest Monaco would seek around £75million for the former Real Madrid youngster.
On talk of a possible deal in January, Vasilyev played down the chances.
‘You never want to make any major changes in January, except something really extraordinary.’