Fred was notably absent from Manchester United’s game against Leeds in Oslo, owing to a lack of senior midfielders.
According to the club, “Fred’s omission is purely precautionary and because he is managing his workload after returning for training at Carrington last week.”
So the question is whether this was a precaution for Fred or for Manchester United.
Fred is inextricably associated with leaving.
The reason for Fred’s absence appears strange, given that he was not injured when the season ended and the FA Cup final began.
He was left out of Brazil’s squad before returning for the first day of preseason.
Given that he did fly to Norway, unlike Donny van de Beek, it was strange to see Fred not participate in any manner.
There was a little precaution taken for Lisandro Martinez after his metatarsal injury, a player for whom Erik ten Hag has ideas.
According to United fans, Fred was simply left out because he has no future at Old Trafford.
According to the Telegraph, Manchester United is interested in buying Fred for £20 million. This would be a blow after the club spent £47 million to recruit the midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018.
Fred has been linked with a move to Fulham, and according to Fabrizio Romano, he is also desired in Saudi Arabia.
With Van de Beek also missing, although having participated in full training at Carrington, it appeared that manager Erik ten Hag merely intended to select a midfield with an eye on the future.
Fred was not forgotten.
Mason Mount, Kobbie Mainoo, and Hannibal started in midfield for Manchester United against Leeds.
All three made significant contributions, with Erik Ten Hag praising Mount and Bruno Fernandes praising Mainoo. Fans praised Hannibal’s contribution, and MUTV analysts were astounded by his defensive play.
Dan Gore and Isak Hansen-Aaroen also shone in the second half, and United will gain from the return of first-team regulars Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, and Bruno Fernandes.
Manchester United’s next preseason game is against Lyon on Wednesday. The returning players are unlikely to play, leaving the team with the same options as against Leeds.
It will be fascinating to watch if Fred is once again excluded as a ‘precaution’. Manchester United would not want an injury to jeopardize his summer departure.