According to reports, Manchester United are interested in signing Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred in the summer transfer window.
Manchester United ended the season second on the table but a staggering 19 points adrift of champions and cross-town rivals Manchester City, who shattered numerous Premier League records on their way to banking 100 points.
Above all, Jose Mourinho’s side also went trophyless as they were beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
If the Red Devils are to have any chance of challenging for the title next season, they need to add quality players to their squad. Topping Mourinho’s wishlist would be a midfielder after Michael Carrick hung up his boots at the end of the season. Marouane Fellaini, on the other hand, is yet to extend his contract with the club.
As of now, Nemanja Matic has proven to be the ultimate defensive midfielder for Mourinho’s squad. The way he shields the backline with ease and contributes to attacks whenever required is one of his most impressive traits. In fact, Matic has been very influential in dictating the tempo of the game and he has been one of United’s very few consistent players this season.
Matic’s presence at the base of midfield has somewhat allowed Paul Pogba to flourish but Mourinho’s reluctance to opt for the 4-3-3 system has hindered the Frenchman’s progress. Pogba is undoubtedly the most creative midfielder at Old Trafford.
In order to maximise the talent of Pogba, United need to play a three-man midfield. In order to play a three-man midfield, Mourinho needs to sign a top quality box-to-box midfielder.
Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred looks like the perfect player to slot alongside Matic and Pogba at United. At 25, Fred has earned a lot of attention from the top clubs across Europe.
The Brazilian could act as the long-term replacement for Michael Carrick and to have two solid defensive midfielders in the team would provide Pogba more license to be at his creative best.
In addition to his defensive contributions this season, Fred played a vital role during Shakhtar’s run to the Champions League this season.
The midfielder was key to their group stage wins over Manchester City and Napoli, as well as the second round home leg win over AS Roma, in which he scored the winner with a fantastic free-kick.
In all, Fred would be a wonderful piece of business for United. With his technical ability and composure on the ball, he would provide a much-needed boost in United’s midfield. The player has a release clause of €60m (£52.89m). At that price, United would be getting a quality box-to-box midfielder who can provide Mourinho with the depth to experiment with his strategies and formations as well.
Hence, United must do all they can to poach Fred from Shakhtar as quickly as possible in the summer transfer window.