A battle versions – did they or didn’t they? Manchester United and Alex Ferguson say they didn’t, Sao Paulo say they did. Whatever the truth is, bid or no bid, Lucas Moura, the 19 year old Brazilian midfielder is, at the moment, is still officially a Tricolor Paulista player.
How much will it take to pry him away from the Brazilian club? Well, apparently, the team known to make some big sales with players like Denilson and Kaka in the past are looking to set a new record for Brazilian players purchased from the nation with Lucas, a 15 time international for the selecao, who had a bid for him worth €35 million rejected by the club, although Manchester United are not confirming anything.
Still, Marco Aurelio Cunha, the club’s sporting director insists such a bid has been made – Manchester United made a very important offer of €35 million, but they would need to produce a little more. For us, in Brazil, only Neymar is worth more. After him is Lucas, and we would not want to sell for less than this sort of value. We do not need the money. The Brazilian economy is good, television pays us and we cannot complain. For us, it is still better to have a good player than lots of money in the bank.
In years past, a Brazilian club, no matter how big and financially stable, simply couldn’t afford to refuse such an offer. At the moment, it seems, if you choose to believe the Sao Paulo version of the story, there’s really no rush and urgency to sell in order to keep the club afloat. If there are actually Manchester United representatives in Brazil, trying to get a deal done, that remains to be seen. Lucas himself is in London, part of the Brazilian Olympic squad to take part of the London 2012 football tournament.
Like with every big Brazilian talent, it’s not just skyrocketing prices and estimations, just like it is for Neymar and Ganso and Oscar. There is more than one team in the hunt for Lucas. Inter, who have been rather busy this summer so far (Rodrigo Palacio, Samir Handanovic) are also interested in the Brazilian midfielder, although except for Juventus, no one in Italy seems to be willing to fork up big money for big names. Not that Lucas is a big name, but with the biggest and richest clubs in the Premier League chasing these players, a club like Inter needs to at least show interest.
Is this trend about substance or just an attempt to exploit a tapped out market? Is there an actual resurgence of Brazilian football which has been experiencing a decline over the last decade, giving us less and less talented footballers, finally enjoying a generational gold mine that will soon put the side back on top of the footballing world? No matter how high the prices that will be offered for Lucas Moura, the best indication for the state of Brazilian football will be the color of the medal which they’ll return with from London.