Manchester United have agreed a £52 million, five-year deal to sign 25-year old midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at five things you may not know about Old Trafford’s newest Brazilian star.
Fred – what’s in a name
Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, Fred for short, was born in Belo Horizonte on March 5, 1993. Belo Horizonte was the scene of England’s shock 1-0 defeat to the USA in the 1950 World Cup, as well as Brazil’s embarrasing 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany in 2014.
Dribbling over Ronaldinho
Former Brazil striker Ronaldinho was Fred’s childhood hero. And although he has made his reputation as a defensive midfielder, Fred does seem to have inherited some of the dribbling skills of his idol. He averaged 3.3 take-ons per match in the Champions League last season with a success rate of 95 percent.
Donetsk for success
Fred joined Shakhtar as a replacement for Fernandinho when he moved to Manchester City.
He was signed by Shakhtar Donetsk for 15 million euros from Brazilian club Internacional in 2013. In his time at Shakhtar he has helped the club earn two league titles, two domestic cups and three super cups. In 101 appearances for the Russians he has scored 10 goals.
Fred tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide during the 2015 Copa America after he was drafted in as a replacement for Luis Gustavo. He was initially suspended for a year by South American federation Conmebol, the ban originally applied only to games on the continent, but this was eventually extended worldwide by FIFA in a move that saw him miss four months of action starting in February 2017.
Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva is Fred’s agent. Although Silva said he sees himself as a mentor first and agent second. Silva said of his young client: “I didn’t work with this job before. But it’s been nice because it’s like being his mentor from the outside, not exactly the agent. I don’t have the experience of some of the agents but I have some partners I work with. It’s about mentoring him. It’s about making an analysis and saying to him ‘you remember this situation, maybe you can correct this’.”