Manchester United no longer appear to be in pole position for Lucas Moura, as Paris St Germain set their sights on the Brazilian international.
Lucas is rated as one of the best talents in South America, and he is currently part of his national squad at the Olympics in London. Sir Alex Ferguson has made the 19-year-old one of his top targets ahead of the new season, and at the weekend it looked as though the Reds boss was closing on the forward’s signature.
Reports in the Daily Mail suggested the teenager was bound for a medical in Manchester, with a £30million deal having been agreed with Sao Paolo. That this story came from Bob Cass, who has a solid relationship with Ferguson, was enough to convince many that United were in pole position to land the player.
However, the Brazilian Football Association later revealed that no approach had been made for Lucas to undergo a medical, and even were one to be received, they wouldn’t allow him to leave their Olympic party. Sao Paolo then stated that no negotiations were taking place in regards to a transfer, and they expected their player to return to them once the Games were over.
This merely added to the confusion surrounding the most drawn-out saga of the summer window, one which is threatening to drag on even longer than the Wesley Sneijder affair of last year, when again it was United who were said to be hell-bent on sealing a deal. The Dutch international ended up staying at Internazionale, and the Serie A side have been competing with United for Lucas this summer.
But Nerazzurri president Massimo Moratti now appears to have given up the chase for the Brazilian, after claiming that a third team, Paris St Germain, are now in the driving seat. The 67-year-old is of the opinion that the French club have offered £35.7million for Lucas; a fee he is unwilling, or maybe unable, to match.
PSG certainly have the spending power to lure the youngster, although this would contradict comments made by Carlo Ancelotti recently. The Italian coach claimed that having already spent heavily on the likes of Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer, the chequebook had been locked away. It now seems, however, that he may have made room for one more costly addition.