According to French news outlet Le10 Sports, Jose Mourinho played a major role in convincing Fred to choose the Red Devils instead of Paris Saint-Germain.
The United gaffer had been monitoring Fred from as early on in the season as November. The club finally concluded the transfer proceedings earlier this week, wrapping up a £52 million deal for the 25-year-old.
United also announced the signing of Diogo Dalot, 19, from Porto on Wednesday, and Mourinho is understood to have been influential in both moves, apparently having called Fred in order to prevent him from joining PSG.
United’s main bone of contention over the January transfer window was the fact that they had other competitors for Fred’s signature. Manchester City and Paris St Germain were both understood to be in the mix.
WATCH: How Manchester United Will Lineup With Fred And Dalot
United were unprepared to engage in a big bidding war with the two clubs, who are known to possess typically loose purses in the transfer market.
Fred is one of the most proven players to have made the switch from the Ukrainian league. In the past, Shakhtar players like Willian, Douglas Costa, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Fernandinho have successfully moved to big clubs in the top European leagues.
Mourinho himself was responsible for bringing Willian to Chelsea in 2013. Jose has since moved on to Manchester United, where he was again in the transfer market for a former Shakhtar player, signing Mkhitaryan in 2016 from Borussia Dortmund.
Diogo Dalot, on the other hand, is a relatively unproven commodity. Mourinho has coached Porto to Champions League success in the past, however, and there is reason to believe in his statements given his deeper understanding of Portuguese football.
Mourinho hailed Dalot as the ‘best right-back in his age group in all of Europe’ following the 19-year-old’s £19 million switch from the Portuguese giants.