By Mark Weasley
The news in the media in the last few days have been about the reports linking Lucas Moura to Manchester United. The 25-year-old Brazil International is looking to leave PSG in search of first team football and looks set to join the club he snubbed some five years ago to move to Paris. United are close to agreeing a move for the pacy winger and while his stock has fallen in recent years, it offers something different to what we possess at the moment.
For much of the summer, United boss, Jose Mourinho had been insistent on the club signing Ivan Perisic, the direct two-footed wide player who would have helped us peg back opponents in their own halves of the pitch. Lucas Moura is running on borrowed time as he has played only 72 minutes of league action for Les Parisiens as the signings of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have relegated him to an almost ephemeral role at the club.
Back in 2012, in what was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season on charge of our club, the club were linked to signing the then 20-year-old, but we were put off by the £38 million asking price from Sao Paulo, a fee the legendary Scotsman felt was too steep for a player not yet proven in European football. All our current options in the wing department are either central attacking midfielders told to play on the wing or strikers such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford being deployed on the wings.
They have been good but don’t offer that threat in wide areas, stretching defenders and putting in good crosses for the likes of Lukaku to produce home. Moura is fast, still young, can dribble, can create and comes with a burning desire to still prove his quality and show he is still cut out to play for a big European club at the highest level. At 25, he is still young but comes with trophy winning experience in a big European league like the French Ligue 1.
While there have been reports that United only want a loan deal with an option to buy come the end of the season, his claim are believed to favour an outright sale in the region of £35 million. A compromise is expected to be reached but for that fee, it is a fantastic addition to our squad given that on his day, he can torment any defence in the Premier League with his undoubted quality. It is expected that the deal will go through.
He has come five years late, but he could make up for lost time by getting up and running right away.