- Brazilian international midfielder Fred completed his move to the team he
says are the "biggest club in the world" Manchester United for a
reported £50 million on Thursday.
The 25-year-old - who missed
Brazil's opening 1-1 draw with Switzerland at the World Cup because of an ankle
injury - gives United manager Jose Mourinho a powerful-looking midfield, with
the Brazilian set to slot in alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
"This is the biggest club in
the world and I am delighted to be a part of this amazing team," Fred told
the United website.
"To work with Jose Mourinho,
who has won so many trophies in his time as a coach, is an opportunity not to
"I cannot wait to get
started and to meet my new team-mates.
"This is a very exciting
time for me with my focus now fully on the World Cup with Brazil."
Mourinho, who has also signed
Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot from Porto, said Fred would add a missing
component to the midfield.
"Fred will complement our
other midfielders' qualities," said Mourinho.
"His creative brain and
passing vision will give us another dimension to our game."
Mourinho is under pressure for
his side - who also finished without any silverware last season - to put up a
proper title challenge to neighbours Manchester City.
United finished second in the
Premier League behind City but 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.
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
United are in need of midfield
reinforcements with Michael Carrick retiring and Marouane Fellaini out of
Mourinho's task will now be to
harness Fred's passing ability, while also finally getting the best out of
Pogba in his third season since an 89 million move from Juventus.
Fred will hope to make the same
impact on the Premier League as Brazilian international team-mates Willian and
Fernandinho, who also arrived in England via spells with Shakhtar.
Handed his debut by Dunga in
2014, Fred's international career was disrupted after testing positive for the
diuretic hydrochlorothiazide during the 2015 Copa America.
He was banned from international
football for a year by South America's governing body CONMEBOL, but only missed
four months for Shakhtar as FIFA did not extend the ban to cover all
confederations until February 2016.
Fred did not return to the national
team until a 3-0 friendly win over Russia in March.