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Manchester United closing on Fred transfer, which could be confirmed as early as next month – reports

Manchester United are close to making their first summer signing, according to the Manchester Evening News. Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred is said to want a move to the Old Trafford club this summer. It is expected that the 25-year-old could make the move as early as the start of next month with United seeking to get their transfer business done early in the window with the FIFA World Cup coming up in just over 20 days and the fact the transfer window will shut before the first Premier League match of the new season.

Fred, who has been named in the Brazil 23-man squad for the World Cup, will be travelling to Europe next week as Brazil have a friendly against Croatia, which will be played at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium. It is expected that whilst in the North West, Fred could complete his move to United ahead of the World Cup with United concluding a deal early, which will put less pressure on the club to get deals across the line. United need to sign at least one central midfielder this summer, to replace Michael Carrick, who retired after playing the final Premier League match this season.

If Marouane Fellaini leaves the club on the expiry of his contract next month, as is expected, Mourinho will need to sign a second central midfielder this summer. United have been linked with Fred for some time now. It was expected that the Brazilian would move to Manchester City in January as a replacement for Fernandinho but that move did not happen with Pep Guardiola’s side seeking other options. United then moved ahead in the pecking order and speculation has intensified in the past few weeks as talk of a move to Manchester became rife.

Also, Mourinho has spoken about United lacking Brazilian players with some suggesting the club would become stocked with Samba football specialists. Some suggested this was going to be covered by Andreas Pereira, a Belgium-born Brazilian who would be returning from a season-long loan with Valencia. It seems that there could be another Brazilian coming to the Theatre of Dreams, years after the last Brazilian players to play for the club, Rafael da Silva and Anderson left in 2015.

Shakhtar Donetsk added a €60 million release clause into Fred’s last contract with the club, which will mean United would have to pay £53 million or so to get the deal completed. Fred has held talks with his agent, former Arsenal player Gilberto Silva. It is suggested that Silva flew to England after meeting Fred in Brazil, which seems to suggest any prospective deal is much further forward than expected. It was reported over the past few weeks that United may wait to sign Fred until after the World Cup this summer, something which may not now be correct.

This news will be welcome for those who want United to sort out the problems at the Old Trafford club this summer. It is suggested that Mourinho is seeking to sign a right-back, a left-back, a central defender, another central midfielder should Fellaini leave and possibly even a winger for the right wing, which is an area which has been lacking for a number of years now. United have been hotly linked with Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld with reports suggesting United could be offering as much as £55 million to sign the player.

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