More Manchester United gossip for you in today’s ‘Transfer Lens’, gossip that Saikat and I will have great pleasure in picking apart, if we can! Lucas Moura is the first subject, and according to reports, he was the player United manager David Moyes went to see last week in Paris.
Chelsea also feature, with the Blues reported to be part of a growing battle for Portuguese talent, William Carvalho.
1. Lucas Moura to Manchester United?
PSG’s twinkled-toed Brazilian has had a stop-start career so far in France, and has not yet justified the enormous fee paid for him by the French side.
The French champions’ purchase of Edinson Cavani in the summer has not helped matters, as there is now a rather congested attacking roster all vying for three spots in the team, with Lucas currently struggling to nail down a first team berth.
Manchester United looked set to sign the talent in 2012, before PSG stepped in and ended the saga with a bid of €45m, which stunned Sir Alex Ferguson at the time,
“I find it quite amazing that a club can pay 45 million euros for a 19-year-old boy,” said the now former United manager,
“When somebody’s paying 45 million for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”
Perhaps a little rich considering the £27m the Red Devils spent on the then 18-year-old Wayne Rooney in 2004, but the England man was certainly worth the money, while Moura has so far failed to live up to his price tag.
The skills displayed by the Brazilian during his stay at São Paulo were enough for PSG to take a gamble on him, and with a ‘YouTube CV’ like the below video, who could blame them:
Two years on, and the Daily Star have claimed that United are back in for the 21-year-old this January, after incumbent United boss David Moyes was seen at a PSG game a few days ago.
Liverpool were linked with a move for the attacker in the buildup to the winter market, but now all speculation is centered on Man Utd’s midfield recruitment drive.
Saikat’s Verdict: Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Lucas Moura a couple of years back and it seems Moyes has rekindled that interest yet again.
This time however, the player would be available at a reduced price and there is much less competition at Old Trafford.
But can Man Utd afford to take a gamble on the Brazilian?
I believe Moyes should focus on players who are playing consistently well this season, rather than explosive players that have a tendancy to go off the boil.
Bringing in a player who is not at top form could be risky, considering the existing problems in the United midfield.
2. William Carvalho to Chelsea?
According to prominent Spanish daily, Marca, Chelsea are keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon’s defensive midfielder William Carvalho.
The 21-year-old has been a mainstay in the Sporting first XI this season, with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United already linked with a move.
The Portuguese has superb defensive qualities, and reads the game with a maturity beyond his years. His tactical awareness and physical strength make him a potential star of the future, hence his ever-growing list of suitors.
Tom’s Verdict: There is little chance that Chelsea will go for the player, considering the £21m they’ve just spent on bringing Nemanja Matic back to Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United are, as we know, in the market for just such a player, but the reported buy-out clause of €45m will surely put them off making a January bid.
Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho said earlier on this month that the club have no intention of letting the midfielder leave in January,
“We are not interested in the exit of this player.” said Carvalho (via Sky Sports).
This all equates to the chances of a January move for William Carvalho being next to none. The summer is a different matter however, and if the player decides that he wants to take the next step in his career, his price-tag may become much more malleable.
What do you think? Should a Premier League side shell-out for Carvalho? Will Manchester United go in for Moura? Let us know in the comments below…