With Michael Carrick confirming his retirement at the end of last season, Man Utd also face the potential exit of Marouane Fellaini with his contract set to expire.
As noted by Sky Sports, the Belgian international has been tipped to leave Old Trafford, and in that event, it could leave a major gap in Jose Mourinho’s squad.
That would leave the Portuguese tactician with limited options in midfield, with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay tasked with ensuring that they compete on various fronts.
It’s questionable as to whether that’s enough quality and depth to do so, and so it would come as no surprise if Mourinho is pushing to address the situation this summer to bolster his options and move to ensure that he can bridge the gap to Man City next season.
According to The Sun, he’s doing exactly that as it’s claimed that Man Utd will look to wrap up a £52m+ deal to confirm the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred next week.
The 25-year-old is currently preparing for the World Cup with the Brazil squad, and so from the player’s perspective and for United, it will be a huge boost if they can get a transfer completed as soon as possible.
That will allow Fred to focus on this summer’s tournament which kicks off in just two weeks time, while for the Red Devils, they will hope to see him join up with the squad for pre-season training as early as he can to allow him as much time as possible to settle in at Carrington and acclimatise to England and his new teammates.
Having been an important presence in midfield for Shakhtar over the past two seasons, helping secure back-to-back league titles, Fred seems well suited to the physicality and demands of the Premier League and he could help free up Pogba in a more advanced role.