Fred (left) was given his last Premiership start against Bournemouth on 3 November by Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he will not pick summer signing Fred until his side are "defensively stronger".
The Brazil midfielder became the club's fourth most expensive signing of all time when he completed a £47m move to Old Trafford this summer.
The 25-year-old was not included in Mourinho's injury-hit squad for United's midweek draw with Arsenal.
"Step by step," Mourinho said about Fred's progress on Friday.
"You also have other players in other clubs that needed their time, and you have some of them that played even less than Fred.
"When the team is defensively stronger and doesn't need people in midfield to give balance to the team, rather than being involved in creation and attacking dynamically, I think the horizons for Fred change completely."
More to follow.