Fred: I Chose Manchester United over Manchester City Because of Jose MourinhoNovember 8, 2018
Manchester United midfielder Fred has revealed he decided to join the club ahead of rivals Manchester City so he could work with "winner" Jose Mourinho.
Fred arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk over the summer and said the United manager played a "crucial" role in his decision.
He told FourFourTwo:
"That's true, I received an offer from them [City] and even talked to my Brazilian team-mates who play for our neighbours.
"They were trying to convince me to join them, but in the end it didn't happen. Then it was the summer and, as I said, there were other offers, including from United. I quickly decided that was the right move for me.
"Mourinho is a top, top professional and every player likes to work with such a winner. I'm learning things from him, that's for sure. He can be quite strict, but that's part of his job. He's also friendly and funny off the pitch, and jokes with us in the dressing room. Jose was crucial in my decision to join Manchester United and I'm grateful for his interest in my football."
City won the Premier League title at a canter last season, finishing 19 points ahead of United.
The two sides will go head-to-head for the first time in this campaign on Sunday, but City have been much stronger. The Sky Blues have taken nine more points than United in the league, scored 14 more goals and conceded 14 fewer.
Despite winning two trophies in his first season at Old Trafford, Mourinho has attracted plenty of criticism during his time with United for his negativity, both in terms of his tactics and demeanour when facing the media.
It has led some to doubt whether Mourinho is still capable of delivering the kind of success that established him as one of the world's best managers. The Special One won eight league titles combined with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, as well as the UEFA Champions League twice among other silverware.
Mourinho showed flashes of his old self on Wednesday after he masterminded a 2-1 victory for United over Juventus:
The Independent's Miguel Delaney welcomed the sight:
Writer Sam Pilger also provided some evidence as to why Mourinho may not be finished at the top level:
There's a lot of joy to be had in Pep Guardiola's City side given the attractive attacking football they play and the consistently positive results they achieve.
On Wednesday, United and Mourinho offered a reminder of why Fred made the choice he did, but they need to continue to do that on a consistent basis if they are to have a successful season.
As for Fred, he has appeared in just nine of United's 16 matches this term despite costing the club £52 million in the summer. He can be forgiven for taking some time to get accustomed to the rigours of English football, but he needs to repay the faith Mourinho and United put in him.