Manchester United’s midfield is about to receive a huge boost before the sport settles in for the grand stage that is the World Cup. Goal has reported that Brazilian midfielder Fred, currently playing for Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, has reached a $70.4 million agreement with the English powerhouse.
The 25-year-old is expected to be fit for the World Cup with Brazil after picking up an ankle injury during training last week.
Fred has spent the past five seasons in Ukraine with Shakhtar, which has produced other stars like Chelsea’s Willian, Manchester City’s Fernandinho and Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, compiling 156 appearances during his time there.
He received plenty of interest from big clubs in England as United had to ward off their intercity rivals and defending Premier League champions City for his signature. United’s successful pursuit of Fred was a long one as the Red Devils and Shakthar engaged in transfer talks beginning in April, per Goal.
Sergei Palkin explained how negotiations went, via Shakhtar’s official website:
“We conducted the negotiations with thre representatives of Man United for over two months. Since April, their scout had been constantly present at all our home games in Kharkiv. Jose Mourinho wanted to see Fred at United. The negotations were interesting, and, as I said earlier, we are fully satisfied with the agreement terms. Fred has been at Shakhtar since 2013, he has grown seriously as a football player, deserving to continue his performance in a stronger league. I’m sure he will progress and improve his level. I wish him every success in the EPL.”
One of United’s top needs this summer will be in the midfield. Michael Carrick has retired and Marouane Fellaini’s future with the club in doubt as his contract nears its expiration.