Five things you didn't know about Fred as Brazilian nears Man United transfer

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Fred is set to sign for Manchester United.

Manchester United are close to completing a move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder, Fred.

The 25-year-old has been on the radar of Europe’s elite after impressing in the Champions League this season, but United have beaten their rivals to secure his signature.

Here are five things to know about Fred.

SCORED FIRST GOAL AGAINST HERO RONALDINHO 

Fred has been converted to a deeper midfield player in recent seasons, but early in his career, he was viewed as an attacking player. Back in Brazil, when he moved from his first club Atletico Mineiro to Internacional, his new club deployed him as a winger or an attacking midfielder. Given that position, and that when he stared off at Mineiro, Ronaldinho was also at the club, it’s no surprise that the Brazil icon was Fred’s hero.

In a twist of fate, Fred’s first professional goal came against his idol, as he scored forInternacional against Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro.

Like many Brazilians of his generation, Fred idolised Ronaldinho.

Like many Brazilians of his generation, Fred idolised Ronaldinho.

INTERNATIONAL BAN

While on Brazil duty at Copa America 2015, Fred tested positive for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide, an agent that can be used to mask other substances.

The Brazilian was given a backdated one-year ban in 2016, initially only for international matches, before FIFA extended it so he missed four months of the Ukrainian season. Fred denies any wrongdoing, and says the experience of that time helped him grow as a footballer and person.

Fred was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance at the 2015 Copa America.

Fred was suspended after testing positive for a banned substance at the 2015 Copa America.

FERNANDINHO REPLACEMENT – BUT ONLY ONCE

Fred was recruited to Donetsk in 2013 after the Ukraine club sold fellow Brazilian Fernandinho to Manchester City. He was viewed as a natural replacement, and indeed has thrived in a similar role, playing as a pivot and directing play – a “conductor”, as he calls himself.

He was so close to replacing Fernandinho again. The City midfielder is 33 now, and Pep Guardiola had eyed Fred as the man to step into his shoes, so much so that there was a rather public courtship in December after City and Donetsk played each other in the Champions League.

Shakhtar refused to sell their player in January, however, and after that, United stole a march on their neighbours.

Fred being unveiled at Donetsk in 2013. He was signed as a Fernandinho replacement.

Fred being unveiled at Donetsk in 2013. He was signed as a Fernandinho replacement.

A MAN FOR ALL POSITIONS

Apart from his “natural Brazilian talent”, which Jose Mourinho says is a good quality to have in any team, what will endear Fred to his new manager the most is his versatility.

The 25-year-old has established himself as a central midfielder now, but during his career he’s played as a winger, attacking midfielder, and left-back. Mourinho will no doubt want to use Fred in his preferred position as much as possible, but if ever there’s an injury crisis, that versatility could come in handy.

Fred has played in many different positions during his career.

Fred has played in many different positions during his career.

FROM ONE PORTUGUESE TO ANOTHER

It’s not necessarily a guarantee of success under Mourinho, but one of his compatriots has got the best out of Fred with a fairly Jose-esque move.

Paulo Fonseca was the first to realise the Brazilian could be the hub of a team, and giving him more responsibility and playing him in a deeper position has unlocked Fred’s potential.

Now, he’ll be playing under a manager with a similar track record with midfielders. Paul Pogba‘s struggles aside, Mourinho is the manager who’s got the best out of players as varied as Wesley Sneijder, Mesut Ozil, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, and Nemanja Matic. Fred looks to be in good hands.

Portuguese manager Paulo Fonseca has unlocked Fred's potential.

Portuguese manager Paulo Fonseca has unlocked Fred’s potential.

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Transfer Predictor: Fred to Man United gets a 9, Nabil Fekir to Liverpool is a 7

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The Premier League transfer window is now open and the market in the rest of Europe will spark into life soon (June 8).

With the transfer rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the noise.

Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.

Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the rumour mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.

FRED – From Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester United

Manchester United are close to signing Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Reports suggest that the Brazilian international arrived at Carrington on Monday. Sky Sports reporter and Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio claims the midfielder has already passed his medical.

Why it will happen: The reports have been overwhelming. Jose Mourinho needed reinforcements in midfield and with his energy and dynamism, Fred fits the bill.

Why it won’t happen: Only if something drastic happens. A late swoop from another team or if negotiations over personal terms collapse.

Prediction: Fred should be a United player this week, maybe even within 24 hours. Virtually a done deal.

Rating – 9/10

Fred.

Fred.

NABIL FEKIR – From Lyon to Liverpool

Liverpool and Lyon are locked in negotiations over the transfer fee for Nabil Fekir, the Independent report.

Why it will happen: Liverpool are still looking to replace Philippe Coutinho in order to given them more options in attack.

Why it won’t happen: Lyon are under no pressure to sell. If Liverpool don’t meet their asking price, the playmaker will stay put.

Prediction: It may rumble on for a bit, perhaps after the World Cup, but Liverpool seem like a good fit for Fekir.

Rating – 7/10

Nabil Fekir.

Nabil Fekir.

SADIO MANE – From Liverpool to Real Madrid

According to France Football, Sadio Mane had agreed a deal with Real Madrid in principle to complete a summer move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the sudden departure of Zinedine Zidane has put the transfer in jeopardy.

Why it will happen: Mane could force a move through. Playing for Madrid would be huge for him and Mohamed Salah has stolen the spotlight from him at Anfield.

Why it won’t happen: Liverpool are not keen on letting go of one of their best talents. The front three are working well and will want them to stay together. Mane may struggle for playing time at Madrid.

Prediction: The reports seem half-cooked. It will blow over.

Rating – 2/10

Sadio Mane.

Sadio Mane.

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Liverpool and Lyon in £11m standoff over Nabil Fekir transfer fee

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The summer transfer window for Premier League clubs is open, while international deals can be completed from June 8.

That has started a frenzy of speculation as players and coaches look for their next moves.

Across the world of football, there is plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen very soon.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

SADIO MANE

According to France Football, Sadio Mane had agreed a deal with Real Madrid in principle to complete a summer move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the sudden departure of Zinedine Zidane has put the transfer in jeopardy. Mane signed a five-year contract with the Reds in 2016 but is said to have been on top of Zidane’s shopping list this summer.

The winger scored 20 goals for Liverpool in this past season but has been overshadowed by Mohamed Salah. With the Frenchman stepping down as Los Blancos boss though, the move is now unlikely.

Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane

NABIL FEKIR

Liverpool and Lyon are locked in negotiations over the transfer fee for Nabil Fekir, the Independent report.

The attacking midfielder was expected to undergo a medical on Sunday ahead of his move to Anfield but the two clubs have been unable to reach an agreement.

The Ligue 1 outfit are holding out for £61m while the Reds have valued the 24-year-old at £50m. Lyon are determined to see their asking price met for a player who scored 23 goals for them in the past season.

Fekir is expected to replace Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool.

Nabil Fekir.

Nabil Fekir.

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