Manchester United announced on Tuesday they have agreed a deal to sign Brazilian international midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk as Jose Mourinho seeks the magic formula to topple Premier League Champions Manchester City.
The 25-year -old will cost the English giants a reported fee of more than £50 million ($67 million) and give Mourinho a powerful -looking midfield, with the Brazilian set to slot in alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
United announced the deal in a brief statement on their official website, which read: “Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk for the transfer of Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos (Fred).
“A further announcement will be made in due course.”
Fred becomes the first major summer signing by United boss Mourinho, who is also reportedly closing in on a deal for Porto defender Diogo Dalot.
United finished second in the Premier League behind City but were 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.
And 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 suggests.