Lucas Moura had agreed to sign for Manchester United before Paris Saint-Germain made a late bid, according to his agent.
PSG confirmed this week that Lucas ad become the club’s latest acquisition and would make the switch from Sao Paulo in January, leading Sir Alex Ferguson to vent his frustration on Wednesday.
“When somebody’s paying €45 million for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad,” he said.
Agent Wagner Ribeiro has now confirmed that a transfer to Old Trafford had been all but certain before PSG sporting director Leonardo, a former Sao Paulo player, made contact.
“Everything was agreed between Sao Paulo and Manchester United,” Ribeiro told UOL. “The contract had been written and just needed to be signed, but then Leonardo called me and asked to talk to Lucas.
“They talked. Leonardo was helped by the fact he is Brazilian. He was very gentle with Lucas. The possibility of living in Paris – a much more pleasant city than Manchester – also influenced his decision, but it was PSG’s project that impressed Lucas.”
Ribeiro said he had worked hard in order to secure his client’s preferred move.
“I’m just a worker,” he said. “I’ve not been able to sleep for five days here in Europe. I can’t rest and I miss my son. What gives me the taste of victory is that I know Lucas is happy.”
This is the second year in a row that United thought they had a deal done before petrol dollars came in and made the player an offer they could not refuse. Last summer it was Nasri and this summer it was Lucas.
I am still really surprised that United were willing pay €30-35 million for Lucas. I thought that United no longer had the financial strength to spend that kind of money on a player.
I am also really surprised that SAF was willing to pay that kind of money for an unproven Brazilian, who plays at the same position as Antonio Valencia. Another right winger does not seem to be big need for United, especially with the holes that United have in central midfield.
What do you think of the news that United were that close to signing Lucas?