Man Utd release statement on surprise Fred absence for friendly clash with Leeds in Oslo
Manchester United have released a statement explaining why midfielder Fred played no part in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly against Leeds in Oslo despite being fit and travelling with the squad to Norway.
The Brazilian was not a regular starter under Erik ten Hag in the Dutchman’s first season in charge at Old Trafford but still managed to clock up 35 Premier League appearances, although most of them were from the bench.
But with just one year remaining on his contract, United are being tipped to cash in on the 30-year-old amid reported interest from Fulham and Serie A side Roma.
Fred’s absence from the squad for the game against Leeds on Wednesday then prompted further talk of an exit, although United clearly felt the need to release a statement on the player to quell any rumours.
It read: “Fred’s omission is purely a precaution and because he is managing his workload, after returning for training at Carrington last week.”
The midfielder is not believed to be injured and was thought to be available after failing to selected for Brazil’s summer friendlies.
His absence gave a first United to Mason Mount after his big-money move last week, while youngsters Kobbie Mainoo and Hannibal Mejbri also lined up against the Championship side.
When asked about what Mount will bring to United following his move from Chelsea, Ten Hag told MUTV: “I’m sure he will bring a dynamic into our game and that’s one of our analytical conclusions after last season. We need more dynamism in the midfield department.”
Fred poised for Old Trafford exit
As for Fred, the experienced midfielder revealed at the end of last season that he had a decision to make on his future going forward.
He said: “I’ll talk to my team, to the club and see what is everyone’s decision. I do have to talk with Ten Hag as well, he’s the manager and the conversation has to involve everyone.
“We have to see how next season will plan out. I want to be important, I want to help the team, so we’ll see. But I’ve always been and still am very happy at Manchester United. Of course, I always want to be playing, to be helping my team.”
Despite that happiness, it appears that Fred will be on the move this summer – it just remains to be seen whether he will remain in England, make the move to Rome or potentially end up following the riches in offer in the Saudi Pro League.
As for the game itself in Oslo, Manchester United eventually ran out 2-0 winners thanks to late goals from youngsters Noam Emeran and Joe Hugill with Mount playing the opening 45 minutes.
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