When an established manager changes clubs, it's not long before he looks to his former charges to reinforce his new squad. So when Roma lured Paulo Fonseca away from Shakhtar Donetsk, we expected a parade of his former players to swap Donetsk for the greener pastures of the Eternal City. Whether it was Junior Moraes, Mykhailo Mudryk or Marlos, there was practically even money odds that Fonseca would bring at least one of his former players along with him.
But that hasn't happened...yet
Roma are in advanced discussions with Manchester United over the double transfer of Chris Smalling and Fred. The midfielder could join on an initial loan with an option to buy. pic.twitter.com/quHJIM1SRl— Sky Sports ➐ (@Skyspcrts_) September 2, 2020
According to multiple outlets (by now, at least), Roma may be double coupon shopping at the Theatre of Dreams this summer. With the two clubs engaged in months-long negotiations for Smalling, Roma have reportedly expressed interested in United midfielder, and former Shakhtar Donetsk man, Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos, known better as Fred.
After a five-year stretch with Donetsk—including two under Fonseca's guidance—Fred made a mega €59 million move to Manchester United in the summer of 2018. A left-footed central midfielder, the Belo Horizonte native initially struggled to find his place with United, barely featuring in his first season with United, logging little more than 1,000 minutes. However, Fred seemed to turn a corner this past season, clocking in approximately 3,500 minutes in all competitions for the Red Devils. All told, Fred has made 67 competitive appearances for United, scoring one goal and chipping in five assists along the way.
Given his hefty initial price tag, it remains to be seen how this fictional transfer would be constructed, but rumor has it he'd move to Roma on a loan with an obligation to buy. What his transfer would mean for the future of Jordan Veretout or Amadou Diawara remains to be seen, but on his day, Fred is a skilled and slick passing box-to-box midfielder.