Man Utd: The first six fixtures of the new Premier League season
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Manchester United didn’t sign Ruben Neves from Wolves because he’s deemed too similar to Fred, reports say. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had a terrific summer transfer window. However, they were unable to bring in a midfielder – despite the Norwegian previously making that position a priority.
Tom Heaton was the first United signing, with the veteran touching down on a free transfer from Aston Villa.
Jadon Sancho then followed, moving to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund in a huge £73million deal.
United acted shrewdly to snap up Raphael Varane, with the France international moving 10 years after Sir Alex Ferguson first tried to secure his signature.
And the Red Devils then swooped for Cristiano Ronaldo, officially confirming the return of the 36-year-old on deadline day.
One player United didn’t sign, however, is Neves.
The Wolves star was linked with a move throughout the summer but will now be staying at Molineux.
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And United Muppetiers have claimed the Red Devils didn’t splash out on the Portugal international because they believe he’s too similar to Fred.
Solskjaer doesn’t want a player similar to the Brazil international, instead craving one who ‘sits deep and is great on the ball’.
And it’s also stated that Declan Rice and Yves Bissouma were originally admired, only for the pair to end up staying at West Ham and Brighton respectively.
Regarding Neves, their pursuit of the 24-year-old now seems to be over.
And whether United choose to revisit the signing of a midfielder in January, when the transfer window reopens again, remains to be seen.
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Meanwhile, former United star Mikael Silvestre has defended Fred after his inconsistent start to the season so far.
“I think he [Solskjaer] trusts Fred enough to do that job, he brings a lot of energy to the midfield and a lot of the work he does goes unnoticed,” he said recently.
“He constantly recovers the ball for the team, sometimes he isn’t great going forward, but he brings more to this team than people realise.
“Ole must feel he is a good enough part of this team and I’d agree in terms of the way he plays because you need players like that in your squad to win trophies.”
Speaking after United’s recent 1-0 win over Wolves, Roy Keane ripped into Fred.
“Sometimes I think if you’re going to play in midfield for a big club, you’ve got to hang your hat on something to say well he’s brilliant at going forward or he’s brilliant defensively or he’s got a goal in him or he’s great at… I don’t see any of them in Fred, any of them,” he said.
“I think [Scott] McTominay is in with a chance of being a player.
“Matic, ah you know… would any of these get into the Manchester City team? Or Liverpool or Chelsea? I don’t see it, so I wouldn’t know the combination.
“I think that’s exactly where they’ll fall short and still I know he done well today and got plaudits but the goalkeeper.”
Fred is expected to feature when United face Newcastle next week (3pm).
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