The more I hear about this supposed deal that we’ve got in place for Lucas Moura, a 19 year old Brazilian winger that we don’t really need, the less I think it actually makes any sense from a footballing perspective. Financially, fine. He’s a young player who has bags of talent and will, more than likely, increase in value for the duration of his contract with us – that should tick all of the boxes for the Glazers. It’s in a sporting sense that this move doesn’t make any sense.
It’s also taking on more and more of the characteristics of our two big supposed transfer deals from last summer, Sneijder and Nasri. You’ve got supposed delegations flying to Brazil here and personal terms being agreed there with a player who’s currently focussed on one thing and one thing only; winning the Olympics with Brazil, a nation that takes that tournament very seriously.
You’ve got press reports springing up all over the show claiming that he’s preparing for a medical, that his father has said he wants to join United, all sorts of rubbish. How often are the Manchester press correct about who we’re looking to sign? They didn’t see Phil Jones coming until we trumped Liverpool at the 11th hour. Ashley Young was bubbling along quietly before we made our approach official. Sneijder and Modric have been United players, you’d think, since about 2008 given the certainty with which the press have thought they would be lining up at Old Trafford at various points.
The one huge difference this summer is that Sir Alex has stated an interest in both Lucas and Robin van Persie. I have no idea what’s going on here, but that’s absolutely not something that Sir Alex does. Ever. The manager is famously non-committal when discussing potential transfer targets, and yet he’s felt the need to open up to the media about bids for both players.
Whilst the press were busy going on about Sneijder and Modric, Sir Alex went quietly about his business and snapped up Jones, Young and De Gea. Smokescreens. Sir Alex is a master of misdirection, of winding up the press and opposition alike (we’ve seen that this week with his brilliantly blatant wumming about City’s youth system) so why are we so suddenly taking him at face value?
The reality is most likely that Sir Alex did genuinely bid for RvP. The likelihood is that he bid £15 million knowing that, should he get his man for that fee, it would have been a brilliant bit of business. The likelihood is that he bid lower than Arsenals valuation knowing that, even if they did not bite, that the press would salivate over the story and allow him to conduct other, realistic transfers in relative privacy.
Sir Alex isn’t that good at buying stars. Look at Veron and Berbatov. He’s more into making them, like Ruud and Ronaldo. RvP would fall into the former category rather too obviously for me, no matter how outstanding his talent. He is an established name. He’s the smokescreen, but for who?
Well, we’ve been linked somewhere with a young, mobile central defensive midfielder called Ezequiel Cirigliano at River Plate. Keep an eye on that one.