Manchester United are close to making Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fred their first signing of the summer, with the Red Devils expected to complete a deal for the 25-year-old Selecao star at the start of next month.
Fred, who has been named in Brazil’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer, is travelling to England next month for Brazil’s international friendly against Croatia at Anfield and could potentially finalise his move to the Premier League runners-up during his stay in the north west, as reported by Manchester Evening News.
As Anfield is only 29 miles away from United’s Carrington training complex, the friendly against Croatia on the 3rd June would serve as an excellent opportunity for the Red Devils to conclude some of their business early in the transfer window before the World Cup.
Although Fred had been heavily linked with a move to United’s neighbours Manchester City throughout the course of the season, the red side of Manchester recently stepped up their interest in the Samba star following the retirement of Michael Carrick, with the Citizens reportedly turning their attention to Napoi’s Jorginho.
Despite Shakhtar inserting a hefty €60m buyout clause into Fred’s most recent contract, that is not thought to be an issue for the financial juggernaut of Manchester United, and he and his agent, former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva, are keen for the 25-year-old to join Jose Mourinho’s men.
It had been hinted at by Mourinho last month that United could be set to make a Brazilian signing, with the Premier League giants having also set their sights on Chelsea’s Willian and Juventus’ Alex Sandro.