Former Manchester United midfielder Fred admits he could have joined a rival Premier League club with Aston Villa and Fulham among those reportedly keen on the Fenerbahce ace.

Only the offside flag denied Fred a dream start to life in his new Turkish home. On his Super Lig debut against Samsunspor, the Brazil international burst into the penalty area and thumped a brilliant volley into the roof of the net.

It might not have counted for anything in the end of course; Fred’s celebrations cut short. But if this is a sign of things to come, the former Manchester United cult hero could be something of a difference maker for a Fenerbahce side looking to end a decade long wait for domestic glory, adding experience and genuine top-level talent to a squad which finished as runners-up in 2022/23.

Speaking to Sporx, Fred admits that the chance to win silverware in Istanbul was a major factor in his decision to join Fenerbahce despite interest from the likes of Aston Villa and Fulham.

Brighton coach Roberto de Zerbi also confirmed his desire to sign the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk ace.

Manchester United v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Fred snubbed Premier League rivals after Man United exit

“I am very happy to be in this great club,” the Brazilian beams. “ This is a great club. I am in a beautiful country. Everything is going well. I feel good. Everyone has welcomed me in the best way possible. My first impressions are that it is very nice.

“Fenerbahce is a very big club. Other Turkish teams and some teams from England were also interested. There were some teams from different countries.

“Fenerbahce told me about their project, and I liked the projects and their goals. They approached me seriously. Our fans are also one of the reasons why I came. I am very happy. Our fans create a great atmosphere at home games.”

Fred, who left Manchester United for an initial £8 million earlier this month, also continues a proud tradition of Brazilian talents in yellow-and-black, following in the footsteps of Roberto Carlos, Alex and co.

‘I want to win trophies’

“Many Brazilians have played for this club. They have written their names in history. I want that too. I want to be an important player in Fenerbahce’s history and win trophies,” Fred adds.

“My transfer process to Fenerbahce started with (sporting director) Mario Branco. He contacted my agent. Then we started talking to him. The most important reason for me to come here was because they told me about the goals of the club.

“I am also very ambitious even though I am 30 years old. I want to win many trophies. This club wanted to win, and its strong squad was the reason why I came.”

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