Brazilian football agent Wagner Ribeiro has revealed that Lucas Moura had agreed on a deal to join Manchester United in 2012 before Paris Saint-Germain swooped for the winger at the last moment.
Moura’s career has arguably not delivered what it promised, with the Tottenham star being rated by some as one of the brightest young talents in Brazilian football during his teen years at Sao Paulo.
Although the 28-year-old has had a club and international career that many can only dream of, he has not been able to display the kind of consistency that would have potentially made him one of the best in the world.
Spurs fans know only too well how frustrating the winger can be, having been unplayable on occasions since arriving from PSG in 2018 but has also looked well short of the required standard in other games.
Ribeiro has now revealed that Moura almost arrived in English football six years earlier than he eventually did but PSG sporting director Leonardo decided to pull out all stops to take him to Paris.
He told UOL: “Everything was fine with Manchester United. The Brazilian was going to play in Manchester.
“But Leonardo entered the situation. He called me and said he was putting together a great team, with Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Ibrahimovic.
“He asked how much United would pay (for Lucas). I said it would be €36 million (£31m). He said he would pay €45 million (£39m).
“And how was the rest of the negotiation? I told Lucas that Paris was a beautiful city to live in. He asked to speak to his father.
“We got everything right and I told Gustavo (Oliveira, Sao Paulo’s director) to fly to Paris.”
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The one thing that is usually common among Brazilian wonderkids who fail to live up to their hype is that their career usually nosedives after they reach around 25 or 26 years of age, with the likes of Robinho and Pato being notable examples.
However, Moura has gone on to have a solid career in Europe despite not living up to the expectations placed on his shoulders at a young age. Part of the reason for this is his never-say-die attitude and his willingness to wear his heart on his sleeve, which is not common among Brazilian flair players.
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