Jose Mourinho’s second season usually offers monumental success in terms of silverware, but the Red Devils fell short in all Competitions they participated this term and despite grabbing a runners-up finish in Premier League, Manchester United failed to compete the ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City in the title battle.
They suffered a defeat against Chelsea in the FA Cup final whereas got knocked out by minnows Sevilla from the Round of 16 of Champions League competition. Mourinho, the charismatic Portuguese tactician, broke the bank last summer to reconstruct the squad and is likely to splash the cash once more prior to the inception of the 2018-19 season. They are reportedly closing in on €50m-rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred and was also chasing the signing of in-demand Serbian Sergej Milinković-Savić who is valued at around €100m.
The retirement of Michael Carrick and the likely departure of Marouane Fellaini next month upon expiration of his Manchester United contract will leave a void in the Red Devils midfield. The growing frustration and uncertainty over Paul Pogba’s future have left Mourinho with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera as his only stable central midfield options. Fred, the 25-year-old Brazilian, has been in fine form for the Ukranian champions and made it to the Selecao’s 23-man squad for next month’s prestigious World Cup event. He was previously a transfer target of Manchester City, however, the Champions have shifted their focus on Napoli’s £52m-rated midfield general Jorginho, thus, paving the way for the Red Devils to pursue their interest.
Fred signed a five-year contract extension in January making Shakhtar strong enough to hold a stance while negotiating the asking fee. The Brazil international is known for his defensive contribution, high work ethics as well as passing attributes which make him a perfect fit in Mourinho’s system. Meanwhile, the talks have been stalled with Lazio’s young sensation Milinković-Savić for the time being as the Red Devils will have to bolster their defensive line significantly as well. But a deal for Fred is close to being struck soon and it will be an intriguing watch whether Mourinho adds the €100m-valued Serbian to his armoury later this window.