In recent years he has worked his way into the Brazil worldwide set up and was last month named in manager Tite's 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.
United confirmed on Tuesday that an agreement had been struck with Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of a transfer that is likely to cost an initial £47million. "If I was a club manager, I would be looking to sign him".
Rivaldo, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, believes that his compatriot is the right fit for United.
And in Fred he is getting a pocket dynamo - a stocky, left-footed box-to-box midfielder who can do a bit of everything, tackle, score, create and run.
However, Fred's career has not been without controversy. But the suspension only applied to games sanctioned by Conmebol, the South American football confederation.
The announcement of Fred was perhaps expediated by the fact that Brazil coach Tite had said he wanted his players domestic futures to be decided before the World Cup this summer.
He is set to be joined by Porto full-back Diogo Dalot at Old Trafford, where Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti have emerged as reported targets.