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Manchester United linked with Fred but is he the real deal and would he fit in at Old Trafford?

Manchester United were originally linked with Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred during the January transfer window and at that time it was suggested that his actual destination would be Manchester City. It has recently been claimed by the Daily Star that United have ‘suddenly emerged’ as the ‘leading candidates’ to sign the Brazilian midfielder. Pep Guardiola’s side has been tracking the 25-year-old, who would provide cover and a possible replacement for Fernandinho.

United manager Jose Mourinho stated in the past few weeks that he would be concentrating on the clubs midfield this summer and may need to replace both Michael Carrick, who is retiring, and Marouane Fellaini, whose contract expires at the end of the season and so far the Belgian midfielder has not accepted the clubs renewal of his contract and Mourinho wants him to remain at the Old Trafford club. There are also doubts surrounding Ander Herrera, who is caught up in a match-fixing investigation and could stand trial before the end of 2018.

The Sun are now reporting that United will be looking to negotiate a deal with Fred and his club ahead of a possible summer move. It is suggested that Shakhtar Donetsk will demand a fee of around £40 million for the 25-year-old before they agree to sanction a possible move for the player. United have a lack of quality in the holding midfield role with just Nemanja Matic, who arrived at the club last summer from Chelsea and the retiring Carrick in that area. There has been a lot of reliance on the Serbian this season and that could leave United further behind if it continues.

The rise of Scott McTominay has been a great addition to United’s squad this season but he is still learning and will take time to reach the standards needed – he may also become a different type of player than a holding midfielder based on his attacking nature, which could see him play further forward but former United captain Brian McClair has recently suggested that the player could become a solid partner to Eric Bailly in the centre of defence, which could be something or nothing.

It is said that United have made ‘discreet enquiries’ about Fred but how discreet they were, seems a little ironic as the media have been talking about them. It is also said that United received ‘encouraging feedback’, which has led to the club being somewhat confident to move forward for the Brazilian this summer. The buzz words used in the report seem too good to be true. The fact that the original report seems to come from the Star seems too good to be true also. They are not known for groundbreaking journalism, more click bait than anything else – my opinion.

City could still be interested in the player, despite the interest they have shown the player seemingly declining but any club would want a rival to think that. It could be that City are pressing forward with the signing of Fred and the media in the United Kingdon saw an opportunity to spread more discontent about Manchester United, which could start with an article about how United failed to sign Fred with Manchester City, or whoever, signing the player instead. That has been done hundreds of times before, it doesn’t seem to matter if the media print lies or the truth these days.

Paris Saint-Germain have also been reported as a suitor for Fred and they could be a challenge for any club this summer with their spending power. That said, PSG will need to pay for Kylian Mbappe this summer which could see them affected by Financial Fair Play, also being that it was only last summer when they paid almost £200 million for Neymar, who moved from Barcelona. I do think City will swoop for Fred though. There does not seem to be enough here to suggest United are actually interested and reports linking them to other midfielders seem stronger.

Fred could do a job at United. United will need at least two midfielders this summer, on to replace Carrick, the other to replace Fellaini if he chooses to leave the club as a free agent in the summer. Fred is a very strong passer and has a great defensive awareness. He is a good passer, something which would keep United on the right road, also with the ability to shoot from range. The Brazilian does get fouled often but he does like to tackle and is a counter-attacking threat. If reports are true, Fred could be a good addition to Manchester United in the summer.

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