In the summer of 2018, Manchester United signed Brazilian midfielder Fred for £52 million from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. Fred’s current contract at the Old Trafford club will expire in the summer of 2023, although United have the option of adding a further year on. Despite arriving under the management of Jose Mourinho, which was short-lived for Fred, now under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has only ever become a squad player at the club.
During the 2019/20 season, because of injuries to Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay, before the arrival of Bruno Fernandes during the January transfer window, Fred played a lot of football and started to build a period of form at the club. However, with Fernandes’ arrival and the return to fitness of Pogba, Matic and in some cases McTominay, Fred has seemed surplus to requirements at the club and the form he built was quickly depleted, which was a shame.
During the course of the season that was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Fred made a total of 48 appearances in all competitions; Premier League, UEFA Europa League, Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup, scoring two goals and four assists. In his time at United so far, the Brazilian midfielder has made a total of 73 appearances, scoring three goals and five assists – which is not all that great for a player that cost as much as he did. It is unlikely that United would see much of the fee they paid for the player two years ago.
Turkish outfit Fotomac has reported that Galatasaray are interested in signing Fred this summer, initially on a loan spell with the option to buy, which is probably the best that United would get for the player at this moment in time, if they are looking to end his stay with the club. Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim is desperate to sign a midfielder this summer after Southampton’s Mario Lemina and Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri both returned to their clubs following loan spells at the club.
Fred, 27, would be classed as an experienced player at the club but in terms of playing regularly, the likes of Fernandes, 25, Pogba, 27, Matic 32 and McTominay, 23, would all be ahead of him. That is before you even talk about Donny van de Beek, 23, who is linked to the Old Trafford club at this moment in time with United leading the race to sign the midfielder this summer. United are also linked to Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, which could see Fred’s stay at United close to coming to an end.
If United were to sign Van de Beek this summer, it would be costly for Fred as the Dutchman would play more often than he would, as would Pogba, Fernandes and Matic. McTominay might also feature more than the Brazilian, especially if he recovers the form that saw him score a brilliant goal against Manchester City earlier this year in what was the last match to have supporters inside the stadium at the Theatre of Dreams. If this report is true, it could give a suggestion as to whether United are in fact interested in signing more than one midfielder this summer.
Written by John Walker