Saturday, May 21

Man Utd’s Fred brushes off claims of team cliques

Brazilian midfielder Fred has hit back at claims there are cliques in the dressing room at Manchester United by dismissing the reports as “fake news”.

United’s players have had to field accusations that the squad is divided, particularly after Luke Shaw said the team were “not all there together” after the 1-0 defeat to Wolves earlier this month.

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Fred insists it is normal for players who speak the same language to form close-knit groups but says the atmosphere in the dressing room is “great.”

“We who speak Portuguese, we communicate, we have a nice friendship,” Fred told ESPN Brasil. “I’ve been good friends with Alex Telles, both on and off the pitch for many years now, so of course, I’ll be a bit closer to him, but that doesn’t mean I won’t talk to [Jesse] Lingard, [Marcus] Rashford, [Mason] Greenwood or [Harry] Maguire and the other English players.

“We have a very good friendship, it’s a great atmosphere in the dressing room, we are very good friends and we are always having fun together.

“Whenever possible we have dinner together, recently it hasn’t happened because of COVID-19, but we always try to be all together.

“It is a huge club that people will always try to say something about us.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player that everyone wants to talk about and, unfortunately, fake news stories come out. That’s very much part of it, unfortunately.”

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A number of players have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford in January, including Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson. There have also been suggestions Fred could look to leave but the 28-year-old, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk for £47 million in 2018, is adamant he is going nowhere.

“People like a bit of fake news,” he added. “Here [in England] there is too much. These days I used my Twitter account to talk about a news story about me, which was published in the newspapers and everything, saying that I wanted to leave United. I had to say that it is a lie, I don’t know where they get this information from.”

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