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Fred the Red: Manchester United's five biggest signings

Omnisport
NEWS
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5.01K   //    05 Jun 2018, 23:11 IST
Fred - cropped
New Manchester United signing Fred

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho got his close-season spending underway with the acquisition of Brazil international Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Both clubs have confirmed an agreement has been reached for the 25-year-old, which is reported to be worth in the region of £52million.

It places the midfielder among the most expensive signings in United's illustrious history.

Here, we look at how those men have fared at Old Trafford.

 

Paul Pogba - £89.3m from Juventus in August 2016

The man who Fred's arrival may help to unleash, Pogba's return to United has been far from the resounding triumph anticipated when he completed a then world-record switch from Juventus. 

There have unquestionably been sublime moments – his game-changing brace in April's Manchester derby came in the same month as an authoritative Wembley showing to help see off Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final. 

But Pogba generally bears the brunt of criticism when United fall short under Mourinho and his relationship with his manager is increasingly under the microscope.

 

Romelu Lukaku - £75m from Everton in July 2017

Eyebrows were raised when United spent big on another of Mino Raiola's clients a year on from the Pogba swoop but Belgium striker Lukaku compiled an impressive debut campaign. 

A total of 27 goals in all competitions included a sapping drought of one goal in 12 after a flying start. 

Lukaku's recovery from this lull spoke well of his character, and United's struggles when he suffered an ankle injury late in the season showed how vital he is to their cause.

 

Angel Di Maria - £59.7m from Real Madrid in August 2014

A British record purchase supposed to herald United's bold emergence from a shambling season under David Moyes, Di Maria's time in England failed to pan out. 

The Argentina star made a blistering start, with three goals in his first five appearances but increasingly seemed an ill fit in Louis van Gaal's system – shunted out wide away from the left-central position in which he excelled in Madrid. 

After a solitary season he was on his way to Paris Saint-Germain, where consistently impressive performances have left many at Old Trafford wondering what might have been.

 

Fred - £52m from Shakhtar Donetsk in June 2018

The new man will come in fourth overall when he inks his United contract. 

These are changing times in the midfield department, with Michael Carrick heading into retirement and Marouane Fellaini seemingly bound for pastures new. 

Mourinho's old lieutenant Nemanja Matic was a solid performer last season, while Ander Herrera's best displays generally coincide with United hitting top gear. 

But greater dynamism feels like a must, especially when it comes to unlocking the Pogba riddle.

 

Juan Mata - £37.1m from Chelsea in January 2014

One of Spain's array of twinkling playmakers in the modern era, Mata was unable to affect a turnaround in Moyes' ill-fated tenure after arriving as a club-record signing. 

He has nevertheless established himself as a crowd favourite and a popular figure off the field.  

Mata's United career appeared doomed when Mourinho was installed as Van Gaal's successor, given he oversaw his transition from star man to bit-part player at Chelsea, but the 30-year-old remains an important member of the squad.

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