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Deal Done: €20m Rated Man United Midfielder Joins Turkish Side Fenerbahce, Club Focused on Signing Moroccan Midfielder

Fred, Fenerbahce

According to confirmed reports, Turkish side Fenerbahce have completed the signing of Fred from Manchester United. The 30-year-old was one of the players who had been placed on the transfer list by the Red Devils to raise funds.

The Brazilian joined the Red Devils from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2018 for a fee of £47m. Although Fred played a significant role for Erik ten Hag’s side last season, making a total of 56 appearances in all competitions, it seemed unlikely for him to play much of a role this campaign.

Fred, Fenerbahce
Image Obtained Via Planet Football

The Brazilian international just entered the last year of his contract. The presence of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen’s return to fitness certainly lowered his chances of playing time. Moreover, the signing of Mason Mount from Chelsea pushed him further down the pecking order.

As reported by Manchester United’s official website, Fred has completed his move to Fenerbahce. He agreed personal terms and completed his medical last week before signing for the Turkish side. The Red Devils will receive £13m (€15m) including add-ons for the 2021 Copa America finalist.

Fulham and Lazio were also linked to the 30-year-old. United had initially fixed an asking price of £18 million, but the Turkish club were unwilling to pay so much for a player they can acquire for free next year. As reported by Metro, the English club reduced their asking price to £13m, exactly what Fenerbahce shelled out for Fred.

Manchester United were waiting for Fred’s exit before shifting their focus on their midfield targets. According to Talksport, the Red Devils are expected to begin negotiations for Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat this week.

Fred – Career at Manchester United

Manchester United signed Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018. The Brazilian joined for a fee that could have risen up to £61 million, making him the club’s third-most expensive transfer at that point. He played 155 games for the Ukrainian outfit, scoring 15 goals and creating as many (stats via Transfermarkt) before moving to Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old was also a part of the Brazilian national team for the 2018 World Cup. He had won 10 trophies between 2013 and 2018. The Red Devils fought off competition from rivals Manchester City to secure the signing. He made a slow start, with just 25 appearances in his first season in England.

However, Fred became a crucial part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, often playing in a double pivot alongside Scott McTominay. In the next 2 seasons, the 30-year-old featured in 94 games across all competitions. He also thrived in the high-pressing 4-2-2-2 set-up deployed by Ralf Rangnick in the second half of the 2021-22 season.

However, his form fluctuated heavily across the 4 seasons, as Man United went trophy-less every single year. The midfielder usually played in a more advanced role with greater positional freedom. He lacked the 1v1 ability and defensive discipline to function as a defensive midfielder alongside McTominay, who was not a proper DM.

However, the Brazilian’s influence diminished in the 2022-23 season under Erik ten Hag. He featured in 56 games in all competitions but started only 24 of them. The Dutch manager employed a different system compared to his predecessors and preferred Christian Eriksen or Marcel Sabitzer in a deeper role alongside Casemiro.

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With Fred moving to Fenerbahce, Manchester United will hope to open up room for Amrabat in the squad. The Morrocco international is a no-nonsense ball-winner, and can serve as a great deputy to Casemiro. Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, and Mason Mount will contest for the remaining two spots in the midfield.

Follow AD for the Latest Transfer Updates for Manchester United.

Adithya Ravi
Football enthusiast. Stat enthusiast

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