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Lucas Moura agrees to join Manchester United – reports

Manchester United have reportedly agreed personal terms with Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian winger Lucas Moura. Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Moura could move from the French capital to Manchester in a £35 million deal, although there are reports suggesting the transfer fee for the player could be much less unless add-ons are included in this report. Jose Mourinho wanted to sign a winger in the summer with Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic a player linked to the club but the move was not feasible after United baulked at the financial demands of the Italian giants.

The reports by Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that Moura has agreed to leave Paris for Old Trafford, which is more of the same rumour from Monday which suggested Moura would turn down other clubs for United if they made a move for him. United and PSG are, however, lock in negotiations as they look to agree on a fee for the player. Previous reports have suggested that United would rather take the Brazilian winger on loan with the French club seeking to sell the player who has been benched after the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the summer.

The 25-year-old has played just 72 minutes of football so far this season and will be looking for more playing time ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer as the player will be hoping he is selected for the squad which will face Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage of the tournament. Moura has shown his skills as a player throughout the last five years of his career in Paris and will be seeking to resurrect his career with a move to the Premier League club, who wanted to sign him in the summer of 2015.

PSG spent £198 million on Neymar last summer and will need to pay another huge fee to seal the permanent move for Mbappe this summer, so selling the players who are on the fringes of the first team will be needed to seemingly balance the books at the club if they have any hope in keeping their Financial Fair Play in order. Moura only has two-years remaining on his contract in the French capital and that could work in United’s favour when it comes to brokering a deal, whether that is an initial loan spell or a straightforward purchase, we should find out in good time.

United are in need of a winger to play on the right. At this moment in time, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and even Anthony Martial have all played in this position, none of them cementing a place in the team in the role. Looking at the void between United and Premier League leaders Manchester City, let alone the close proximity of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, United second-placed position in the league could be whittled away if they do not strengthen this month.

It is also understood that Liverpool, according to Le Parisien, have expressed an interest in the Brazilian winger, presumably to replace Philippe Coutinho, who secured his move to Barcelona at the weekend. Moura has actually scored 45 goals in 228 appearances for PSG in the last five seasons, making his move from Sao Paulo in the summer of 2012, the same summer former United manager Sir Ales Ferguson tried to sign the player, opting for Shinji Kagawa instead. Could it be second time lucky for United this month?

Manchester United boosted as Brazilian would snub other clubs for Old Trafford move

Manchester United have reportedly been boosted by reports that suggest Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura will ‘snub all offers to’ sign for the Old Trafford club. It was reported last week that United were interested in the Brazilian player, who former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was interested in signing just over five years ago. The 25-year-old has been frozen out at the French club after the arrival of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe during the summer, playing a bit part role at the club.

United are seemingly interested in sorting out a loan deal for the winger which is something Bordeaux, Nantes, Nice, and Real Betis are seeking also. It has been reported by Telefoot that Moura will snub all other offers to move to Manchester though. The deal is not there for the taking though, despite the reports. PSG will only sanction a loan move if it paves a path for the player to make a permanent move in the summer, which could be worth around £40 million.

United had moved to sign Moura from Sao Paolo back in the summer of 2012 with a £38 million fee being brokered by the French giants and United left looking elsewhere. It was the same summer Ferguson was interested in signing Eden Hazard from Lille, but he chose the then reigning UEFA Champions League holders ahead of the Old Trafford club. United then made a move for Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa instead and it seemed a much better deal, despite not actually turning out that way.

United have problems in the right-wing area this season and manager Jose Mourinho was seeking to improve that in the summer, failing to do so after the pursuit of Ivan Perisic ended with the player remaining at Inter Milan. So far this season, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have played in the right-wing role, none of whom actually cementing a place in the side in that position. With Moura seemingly available and a permanent deal needed to secure his services in the summer, £40 million seems relatively cheap for a player of his standards.

During his time in Paris, Moura has scored 44 goals for his side, making 212 appearances in total. He has won major honours in France, nothing on the European level. At 25, Moura still has time on his side to rediscover his lost form, which is basically because he has been forced out of his role by the arrivals of Neymar and Mbappe, no to mention the fact that Angel Di Maria and others still remain at the club, meaning the fight for places in the squad will be tough. Moura scored 19 goals last season, in 52 appearances, which was not enough for PSG to stop Monaco winning the league.

During the current season in Ligue 1, Moura has made five appearances, scoring one goal. During those matches, he has a shot accuracy of 67% which is pretty good for a wide player, has created one chance for his teammates, which would need to be improved (but taking into account the number of appearances, that is explained). Moura has a 90% pass accuracy, which is something United are very good at doing anyway, averaging 15 metres per pass, on average at least. Defensively, Moura is inactive, which may need to change if United did come calling.

The Brazilian was named in Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League squad this season but has not made a single appearance so would be eligible to play in the competition this season, at least based on what I have read, which states:

UEFA operates European club football competitions, primarily the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.[note 1] UEFA’s regulations state that, with a few exceptions, players who play in any European club competition are subsequently cup-tied with respect to all European football for the remainder of the season.[1]

“The main current exception is the UEFA Super Cup, contested by the winners of the previous seasons’ Champions League and Europa League. As this is effectively a prestige friendly with only one round, the cup-tied rule is seen as unnecessary. Representing a club in this fixture does not affect a player’s eligibility in other UEFA competitions.[citation needed] Similarly, cup-tying did not apply to matches in the now-defunct pre-season UEFA Intertoto Cup, up to the semi-final round.

“A further exemption applies: one player per club who would normally be cup-tied can be registered and eligible to play, so long as his previous club did not field him in the same competition. This means that players can represent two different clubs in the Europa League and Champions League, but only a maximum of one player per club. However, if the first club switches into the same competition (e.g. transfers from the Champions League to the Europa League through finishing third in the group stage), the transferred player becomes ineligible. This can lead to some complex situations.”

Paris Saint-Germain winger up for a move this month if Manchester United want him

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is looking to sign Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura this month, reportedly on loan with a permanent £40 million deal to be secured in the summer, according to The Sun. The current Ligue 1 leaders will only allow the player to leave if a permanent deal is agreed, which makes me wonder why United would try and get the player on loan if they had to purchase him at the end of the season.

United missed out on Moura in the summer of 2012 after PSG signed the player for £38 million from Sao Paulo in Brazil with United also interested, and missed out on Eden Hazard that summer, opting to bring in Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund instead, him leaving the Old Trafford club two years later. Mourinho was looking to sign a winger in the summer with Ivan Perisic the number one target for the club but the player remained at Inter Milan, seemingly snubbing a move to the Theatre of Dreams.

The right-wing position is something that needs reinforcement this season and the January transfer window the only opportunity to fill the void, albeit a tough time to sign a player considered good enough to offer what is needed to a club such as United. Moura has played 212 times for PSG since 2012, scoring 44 goals for the club – also winning the Ligue 1 title four times, the Coupe de France three times, the Coupe de la Ligue four times and the Trophée des Champions five times, which is an impressive trophy haul, even if it was from the French league.

This season, Moura has been mostly out of the picture at PSG, not starting a single match. He has made six appearances, all from the bench (five in the Ligue 1, one in the Coupe de la Ligue), scoring one goal, assisting another and registering three shots on goal, two of those on target. Many may seem a player such a Moura on a fall from grace but looking at his stats this season, there is still some talent there which is to be used. With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to contend with this season, it is easy to see why Moura is on the bench more often than not.

There has already been some interest from Chinese Premier League side Beijing Guoan, based on reports, but the player would seemingly prefer a move to the Theatre of Dreams instead. The 25-year-old still having a lot to offer a club, especially if he can find his form and help where the holes are within the squad, which seems to be on the right-wing and the number ten position, although Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have offered a lot of late in the number ten role in the 4-2-3-1 formation, which seems to be pretty archaic at this moment in time.

Last season, before both Neymar and Mbappe arrived in France, Moura made 48 competitive appearances for PSG (38 starts and 10 substitute appearances in all competitions) scoring 16 goals and assisting a further seven goals. The Brazilian had 87 shots on goal throughout the season, 52 of those being on target. It has previously been reported that Moura has held transfer talks with PSG manager Unai Emery in December, along with Hatem Ben Arfa, both seemingly unwanted at the Parc des Princes. Responding to a question based on Javier Pastore and Angel Di Maria, Emery responded:

“Javier and Angel? As far as I know, they have not declared their desire to leave. They are as they are — in the team. We have spoken with Hatem and Lucas about possible moves, nobody else.”

Lucas Moura seems available with PSG actively seeking a club to sell him to and being that he is a talented player and a relatively cheap transfer at £40 million in the summer, there is value in the deal, especially if Mourinho can help bring back the players form after him sitting on the sidelines for the majority of the 2017/18 season. At 25, Moura would still be a player with a resale value, perhaps around the same fee United may pay for him, possibly more if he can set fire to the Premier League during the remainder of the current season and beyond.

There are few options available and he was a player Sir Alex Ferguson wanted so all that is left here is whether United are interested in the player and brokering a deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

Manchester United ‘make contact’ for Lucas Moura

Lucas Moura was a player Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign for Manchester United in the summer of 2012, with the club being linked again to the Brazilian a few times since he signed for Paris Saint-Germain with Ferguson ruling out a move for the then 19-year-old who signed for the Parisian side for €45 million that summer. Moura has been in and out of Unai Emery’s PSG side over the last season, which has led to reports that United have made a move, albeit preliminary, to sound out the player and the club to see if a deal could be struck for the 24-year-old. Moura made 48 appearances for PSG during the past season, scoring 16 goals, which is not bad coming from a wing position, more than United have scored from those positions anyway, but he was playing in a much poorer league when you take into account the qualities of the teams in Ligue 1.

What is being reported and by who?

SportWitness exclusively reported this rumour two days ago and they are not a ‘click bait’ site like some of the daily newspapers in the view that they will elude you to believe that Lucas Moura will be coming to United. SportWitness report this much differently, stating that Manchester United has made contact with Paris Saint-Germain, coming from multiple sources of theirs. United were first linked with Moura in the summer of 2012, and have been linked to him a few times since then. Jose Mourinho is looking for a fast-paced winger on the right side of the pitch and with the fact signing Willian from Chelsea has seemingly been ruled out with the player opting to remain at Chelsea, United will have to move onto another target, hence the reports suggesting it is Moura. SportWitness suggest these are initial steps, looking into the conditions and plausibility of the transfer, which could move faster should Mourinho narrow down his list of options. The Mirror have based a report in their rumours section of the report from SportWitness, as have the Manchester Evening News, The Metro and The Sun.

What type of player is Lucas Moura?

Lucas Moura is a quick, diminutive, and mobile winger, who is also powerful, creative, and technically gifted, the Brazilian is known for explosive acceleration, agility, and pace on the ball, as well as his excellent dribbling skills, in particular his use of trickery and feints, which make him a dangerous offensive threat. A versatile player, he is also capable of playing in several positions and has also been deployed as a forward, in midfield, or as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers. During the past season in Ligue 1, Moura created 54 chances for his teammates, scored 12 goals in 37 appearances and has a shot accuracy of 55%, which is not all that bad considering his position on the pitch. His passing is good, 83% of his passes were direct to a teammate, helping his side maintain possession. He also averaged at least one defensive action per match, which for an attacking player, shows his ability to drop back if needed. In the UEFA Champions League over the past season, Moura has played at a similar level of performance as he had in Ligue 1, creating 24 chances for his teammates, scoring two goals in seven appearances, having a shot accuracy of 55% again. His passing was 80% accurate and he averaged at least two defensive actions per match played. Could Moura do it in the Premier League, though?

Likelihood of the transfer?

Right now, the reports which have been published suggest that this is only an initial step to sound the club and the player out over a move to Manchester United this summer. There is nothing to suggest that the initial step has been taken further with talks between the clubs and the player’s representatives. At this stage, there will be more than one option for the player, and there would be nothing to suggest that would result in a move to the Old Trafford club. United will have many targets seeing as Jose Mourinho confirmed that he had two lists; one should the club qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season, which they have and another should they not have achieved that. Mourinho has confirmed that there will be a surprise no that list, which could be a player much bigger than Lucas Moura. With the rumours suggesting that United are looking to sign Ivan Perisic, Moura could be another piece to that puzzle, or could well be another option.

copyright: JW