A fictional account of Benfica's Darwin Nunez dealings with Liverpool has been doing the rounds in recent days. It now appears that it is a rehashed version of a similar story spread about Manchester United midfielder Fred in 2018 - a fake news story which Irish pundit Eamon Dunphy fell for.
Hilarious 2018 clip suggests Eamon Dunphy fell for fake Fred news story
On a 2018 episode of his podcast the Stand, Dunphy was joined by Dietmar Hamann and John Giles. The topic of Man United's summer business was called into question, in particular their purchase of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.
At the time, Fred had struggled to make an impact at Manchester United. He has, of course, become a first team regular since then - much to the chagrin of many pundits, including Roy Keane.
In the course of the discussion Dunphy outlined a 'story' around Fred's arrival from Ukraine
There's an amazing story that appeared, I don't know if you guys, Liam Brady actually mailed it to me.
One of the guys in a high position in Shakhtar Donetsk said that Fred wanted to get away and they were hoping to get somewhere between 20-25 million for him and all of a sudden United came in and offered €60 million and they all burst out laughing and said 'on with you!' They're still laughing.
Didi Hamann then seemed to corroborate Dunphy's version of event's, revealing that it was Fred's old manager Paulo Fonseca who was amazed at United's interest in the midfielder:
I read the story it's been a few days or a few weeks ago, the manager Fonseca said he couldn't believe that they made an offer, that they would have taken him in a wheelbarrow, when the offer came in. It begs the question; who values these players?
So to recap, United's transfer methods leave a lot to be desired...only, after doing some digging it doesn't appear that that story even happened.
The only thing found that could be the reference for Dunphy is a tweet from a Liverpool fan with a pixely statement with no apparent author which seems to be the source material for Dunphy's story.
Fred the Red ?pic.twitter.com/s2K2w4BTkL
— Jay Riley (@TheKopHQ) October 31, 2018
So we have no author, no other news outlet has done the story, and the only place it was found was on a Liverpool fan's Twitter account.
With new Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez struggling in pre-season, some Manchester United fans have returned the favour from four years ago. They have shared a similarly tongue-in-cheek account of Benfica's reaction to Liverpool's bid for the striker.
It appears that Eamon Dunphy may need to brush up on his fact checking skills, or at least stop taking Liam Brady's e-mails as gospel. Brady has a lot to answer for.
You can listen to The Stand episode here. The Fred story happens around the 23 minute mark.