– Brazilian international midfielder Fred
completed his move to the team he
says are the “biggest club in the world”
– Manchester United for a reported £50
million on Thursday.
The 25-year-old — who missed Brazil’s
opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland at
the World Cup because of an ankle
injury — gives United manager Jose
Mourinho a powerful-looking midfield,
with the Brazilian set to slot in
alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja
“This is the biggest club in the world
and I am delighted to be a part of this
amazing team,” Fred told the United
“To work with Jose Mourinho, who has
won so many trophies in his time as a
coach, is an opportunity not to be
“I cannot wait to get started and to
meet my new team-mates.
“This is a very exciting time for me with
my focus now fully on the World Cup
Mourinho, who has also signed
Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot from
Porto, said Fred would add a missing
component to the midfield.
“Fred will complement our other
midfielders’ qualities,” said Mourinho.
“His creative brain and passing vision
will give us another dimension to our
Mourinho is under pressure for his side
— who also finished without any
silverware last season — to put up a
proper title challenge to neighbours
United finished second in the Premier
League behind City but a whopping 19
points behind their fierce rivals.
Despite their highest league finish since
Alex Ferguson retired, Mourinho was
heavily criticised for adopting cautious
tactics in several big games as United
were often made to look ponderous in
comparison to stylish City’s
commitment to attack.
Beating City to the signature of Fred,
who was a target for the English
champions in January, could prove to
be a significant first step.
Fred caught the eye in Shakhtar’s run
to the last-16 of the Champions
League, where the Ukrainians only lost
out on away goals to Roma.
A stunning free-kick in the first leg of
that tie was a glimpse of what Fred’s
talented left foot can produce.
However, he is far more of a creator
than goalscorer as his record of just 15
goals in five years at Shakhtar
United are in need of midfield
reinforcements with Michael Carrick
retiring and Marouane Fellaini out of
Mourinho’s task will now be to harness
Fred’s passing ability, while also finally
getting the best out of Pogba in his
third season since an £89 million move
Fred will hope to make the same
impact on the Premier League as
Brazilian international team-mates
Willian and Fernandinho, who also
arrived in England via spells with
Handed his debut by Dunga in 2014,
Fred’s international career was
disrupted after testing positive for the
diuretic hydrochlorothiazide during the
2015 Copa America.
He was banned from international
football for a year by South America’s
governing body CONMEBOL, but only
missed four months for Shakhtar as
FIFA did not extend the ban to cover
all confederations until February 2016.
Fred did not return to the national team
until a 3-0 friendly win over Russia in