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Manchester United close to signing Fred

Fred? Fred Who?

SK Rapid Vienna v FC Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Champions League: Qualifying Round Play Off First Leg Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fred could be Manchester United’s first signing of the summer, according to a report in the Manchester Evening News. Samuel Luckhurst claims that United are looking to get the deal done at the start of next month — before the 25-year-old jets off to Russia for the World Cup. Conveniently, Brazil have a friendly against Croatia at Anfield next week, and United could capitalise by getting his medical done then.

Fred, who has only seven caps for Brazil, was subject to interest from Manchester City in January, only for Pep Guardiola to end up going after defender Aymeric Laporte instead. Fred’s been with Shakhtar since 2013, and reportedly has a €60 million release clause in his contract — not believed to be big enough to put United off.

We must admit, we’ve never seen Fred, but Futbolgrad’s Manuel Veth is a man that has. He brackets him alongside N’Golo Kanté as part of the new trend of “[t]echnical[ly] gifted small defensive midfielders, who can both destroy, but also act as playmakers.” A player that can do everything. Sounds good to us.