It seems as if they could be no smoke without fire. The Manchester United Evening News reports today that intermediaries between United and Fred have floated the possibility of the Brazilian midfielder joining Fulham this summer – only hours after he was caught on camera chatting with the Cottagers’ head coach Marco Silva in the Old Trafford car park after yesterday’s game.

With the Glazer sale of the club still dragging on, Erik ten Hag may have to make his first moves in the transfer market without significant backing from the club’s board. Fred only has a year left on his contract and made only 22 appearances this term – his fewest since joining the club five years ago – and possibly a result of his poor performance in March’s 7-0 drubbing by Liverpool. The MEN suggests that ten Hag wants to freshen up his midfield and Fred has been regularly linked with an exit this summer.

Silva is keen to add experience to his engine room this summer with the Fulham squad light on back up to Joao Palhinha and Harrison Reed. Serbian international Sasa Lukic is still acclimatising to the Premier League and Fred, who made Manchester United’s winner with a fine through ball for Bruno Fernandes, could be an attractive cut-price acquisition.