With interest in his services having built steadily heading into the summer, the Brazil international was a much sought-after asset as the window prepared to swing open.
Manchester rivals United and City were both keen on acquiring the 25-year-old, with the Red Devils’ decision to make an early approach eventually working in their favour.
Jose Mourinho’s side were also aided by a former Premier League title winner, with Fred having sounded out a fellow countryman before taking the plunge and opening a new chapter in his career,
He told United’s official website: “Gilberto was a top midfielder who played for Arsenal.
“But he has a lot of respect for Manchester United, who are obviously a big club here in England.
“He praised the club a lot and, after he was granted the opportunity to speak to Jose Mourinho and other senior figures at United, we made the decision together for me to come here. We decided it would be a good move for me.
“Gilberto is a top guy and his advice means a lot to me. He played in the same position as I do and he won the Premier League, so I look to him for inspiration, I listen to what he has to say and I take on board what he tells me.”
Gilberto Silva was part of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ side which went an entire Premier League campaign unbeaten in 2003-04.
United will not be able to replicate that achievement 15 years on, having suffered a 3-2 defeat at Brighton last time out, but they do still have high hopes for the current campaign.
Fred was drafted in to help aid their quest for major silverware, with Mourinho convinced that the South American can add important qualities to his side.