Manchester United are expected to complete the signing of Shakhtar Dontesk’s Brazilian midfielder Fred within the next week. According to a report on Sky Sports, all that is required for the deal to go through is a work permit application, and once that is completed, Jose Mourinho will have confirmed his second signing of the summer transfer window. This comes after last week’s transfer of FC Porto’s Diogo Dalot, with the 19-year old right back expected to work under and compete with Antonio Valencia for a spot in the starting XI.
Confirmation of an agreement between Shakhtar and United was announced on Tuesday of last week by the club, but there has been no official unveiling or photographs of the Brazilian posing in red as yet, presumably due to the aforementioned work permit application. Once that has been completed, United are expected to unveil Fred in typically grandiose fashion with a full interview and accompanying photos and videos.
Fred arrives at a crucial summer for Mourinho, with the Portuguese’s team sealing a second place finish in the Premier League in May but failing to win any silverware. The season was characterised by some exceptionally sterile football, and United’s manager projected a frequently combative persona whilst simultaneously criticising several of his more high-profile stars. As such, Fred’s presence in a midfield three alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba could be of great significance as a means to free up the talismanic Frenchman. His ability to go box-to-box and energy could help to reinvigorate a midfield that struggled frequently during the last season.
The 25-year old will become the first Brazilian to play for United since the departures of Rafael, Fabio and Anderson, who all signed for the club within a year of each other in 2007. Fred will be closing a 5-year spell in Ukraine, having made 156 appearances and scored 14 goals for Shakhtar in that time.