Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea rounded off a particularly disappointing season for Manchester United. After an embarassing defeat to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup quarter finals, a limp Champions League exit to Sevilla and having watched Manchester City romp away with the Premier League title, Jose Mourinho and his men have some serious work to do in order to transform their next campaign into a success.
As it turns out, that work appears to have already started. The Guardian are reporting that United’s summer spending is very close to starting, with United in advanced talks with Shakhtar Donetsk for the transfer of Fred. The Brazilian has been of interest to both Manchester clubs for some time, with City reportedly keen to bring the player to England as a replacement for his compatriot Fernandinho, but all signs point to United sealing Fred’s signature for a £43.7m fee.
Should the transfer be sealed, it would be a significant boost for Mourinho’s midfield options. Michael Carrick, now freshly retired, will be joining United’s backroom staff for the upcoming season, whilst Marouane Fellaini, who has been openly critical of the club’s decision to not offer him a new deal sooner, is reportedly close to signing for AC Milan. The Belgian, frequently touted as a big-game player by Mourinho has never fully convinced at Old Trafford, and his departure wouldn’t be mourned by the club’s fans.
Fred’s presence would represent a significant upgrade for United, and with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both suffering from dips in form during last season, his transfer would offer United a useful alternative in the centre of the park. It could also potentially provide Paul Pogba with the support that he’s frequently required.
United fans won’t have to wait long to get a glimpse of Fred, with the 25-year old named in Brazil’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.