Manchester United’s hopes of selling Fred this summer may have suffered another blow with Galatasaray agreeing a potential £5 million deal for the Premier League veteran’s midfield alternative. 

After what was quite comfortably his finest season as a Manchester United player in 2022/23 – Fred scoring six goals, setting up six more and performing with a swagger and a style more befitting his Brazilian passport – the Red Devils might not have expected to run into quite so many problems as they look to find a club willing to take the long-serving enforcer off their hands. 

But alleged Saudi Arabian interest has not advanced as United may have hoped.

Fulham, despite Marco Silva’s admiration for the former Shakhtar Donetsk ace, appear unwilling to stump up an eye-watering £20 million for a 30-year-old with less than 12 months left on his contract. 

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Paderborn - Pre-Season Friendly
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Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri closed the door on a potential move to Serie A for Fred too.

“I was prepared to open talks with Man United and bid for Fred,” Lazio president Claudio Lotito tells Il Messaggero. “But Maurizio Sarri told me no. He doesn’t want Fred.” 

Manchester United struggling to sell Fred

Now, with Kicker reporting that Galatasaray have agreed a deal with Bayer Leverkusen for Kerem Demirbay, it’s tempting to wonder if another window of opportunity is slamming shut on Fred’s fingers. 

Demirbay, like Fred, is a left-footed, 30-year-old midfielder who considers himself something of an all-rounder. At £5 million, he is certainly a lot more affordable than Fred too. United and Galatasaray reportedly remain about £12 million apart in their valuation of the 2023 Carabao Cup winner.

Kicker do not explain what impact Demirbay’s arrival would have on Fred’s hopes of a fresh start in Istanbul. But it certainly feels like a development Manchester United could have done without as they look to free up funds for Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat. 

As The Athletic’s uber-reliable David Ornstein points out, in conversation with FIVE UK, United will only step up their pursuit of the £30 million-rated Amrabat if they can first get the likes of Fred off the books. 

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