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Manchester United Transfer News: Fred Responds to Latest Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IMay 25, 2018

Brazilian footballer Fred speaks during a press conference on the third training day of the Brazilian football team ahead of the FIFA's World Cup Russia 2018, at Granja Comary training center in Teresopolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 24, 2018. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)
MAURO PIMENTEL/Getty Images

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred has responded to reported interest from Manchester United and Manchester City ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Brazilian is on international duty before the 2018 FIFA World Cup and spoke about the speculation in a press conference covered by Globo Esporte (h/t Zinny Boswell at Sky Sports).

"The talks had been in progress since January with City. Soon after, City and United talked to Shakhtar and my agents. And now, if I'm not mistaken, there was news of a very strong bid from United. As far as negotiations go, I am only [focused] on the World Cup. You just think about that, forget about other things. My agents are taking care of it. It is an honour to have the attention of the great coaches of Europe."

Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov has said Manchester City offered €50 million (£43.8 million) for Fred, per Goal:

Goal UK @GoalUK

Man Utd will need to go above Man City's €50m offer if they want to land Fred this summer! https://t.co/ONnyOCNxmv https://t.co/JfdRuVbu31

Samuel Luckhurst at the Manchester Evening News explained how United moved for Fred after a move to City failed:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov says City offered €50m for Fred in January - €10m short of release clause. #mufc only stepped up interest in Fred after the #mcfc move collapsed. Effectively had a free run at him since the winter window closed.

However, it looks as though Manchester United will have to spend big if they are to land Fred, per Luckhurst:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Fred's release clause puts his value at £52.6m. Would become #mufc's fourth-most expensive signing after Di Maria, Lukaku and Pogba.

Fred is a central midfielder who has impressed during his time with the Ukrainian club. Squawka Football showed how he's caught the eye in the UEFA Champions League:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Fred won more tackles (23) and completed more take-ons (23) than any other Shakhtar player in the Champions League this season. • 88.5% (!) take-on success rate • 56.1% tackles success rate Gets the ball, carries the ball. 💨 https://t.co/Z59zuN2dwJ

Journalist Tom McDermott explained what he could bring to the Red Devils:

Tom McDermott @MrTomMcDermott

Don’t know about that mate. But Fred, imo is... - More mobile than Herrera - Box-to-box - Can pick a forward pass - Great engine - Good at breaking up play in different areas of the field. Higher up pitch as well. Question is, how will Mourinho use him? #MUFC https://t.co/cLnbP6eaHy

If he were to arrive at Manchester United he would add to manager Jose Mourinho's options. The Red Devils are pretty well-stocked in that area and already have Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Marouane Fellaini.

However, Fellaini is expected to depart the club, and AC Milan are confident of landing the Belgian, according to Jack Austin at The Independent.

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe explained why Fred's arrival could cause issues at Old Trafford:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

Intrigued as to what Mourinho’s plan for his midfield is if Fred signs. Feels like someone has to shift out of their optimal position to include him, be it Matic or Pogba.

Fred's an experienced player and his inclusion in Brazil's World Cup squad shows his quality. Yet it remains to be seen quite where he will fit in among Manchester United's star-studded squad and whether he can flourish under Mourinho at Old Trafford.

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