Manchester United target Lucas Moura’s agent has today insisted that his client will not be leaving Sao Paulo. The statement came after Sir Alex Ferguson admitted interest yesterday in the 19-year-old attacker but it now appears that United’s bid for the player is well below Sao Paulo’s valuation of Lucas as agent Wagner Ribeiro confirmed that United ‘have reached their limit’ in regards to the budget made available for the player.
Ferguson is now looking to River Plate’s Ezequiel Cirigliano as an alternative to Lucas, according to Caught Offside. The under-20 Argentine international will cost in the region of £5m mark, a fraction of the fee reported to have been offered for Lucas Moura. The player is more of a central player than Lucas and will reinforce the midfield positions with Darren Fletcher still recovering and the evergreen Paul Scholes only prepared to play for one more year.
In the lead-up to their pre-season friendly against Didier Drogba’s Shanghai Shenhua, United boss Ferguson claimed he would have considered an offer for the Ivorian had the player been open to a move to another Premier League team. United take on the Chinese team on Wednesday night and will hope for a better performance that the 1-1 draw with Ajax Cape Town.
Ferguson believes Chelsea will be strong contenders for the Premier League title next season following the Blues’ summer spending on Hazard and Marin thus far. Ferguson suggests that their Champions League win has reignited Abramovich’s passion for the club and this will prompt an ambition in the team. The United manager however maintains confidence in his team and the club’s efforts to improve the squad.
Rio Ferdinand has praised new-arrival Shinji Kagawa: 'He's been fantastic. He's quick, he's sharp, he has great awareness, he plays off both feet. I'm excited about playing with him and getting the season started’.
Similarly Ferguson has been impressed by Kagawa’s ability to pick up training drills despite being unable to speak English.
Ferdinand also praised the maturity of young central defender Scott Wootton who has travelled with the senior squad on their pre-season tour. With Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic struggling to be fit for the start of the season, the United youth player has an opportunity to prove himself.