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Why Lucas Moura is the best £30M Man Utd NEVER spent

Sao Paulo president Juvenal Juvencio and his board can't believe their luck.

With a stadium to renovate, they have managed, somehow, to sell Lucas Moura, barely a reserve for the U23 national team, for a record Brazilian transfer.

Indeed, Juvencio has not only cashed in on Lucas to the tune of a massive £42 million, but he's forced PSG to delay taking the midfielder until after the conclusion of the Brazilian championship in January.

The reality is, for all of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaints, Manchester United never were in the equation when PSG joined the race for Lucas' signature.

United fans have to believe Fergie would not have accepted waiting six months for Lucas after shelling out the mooted £30 million he was prepared to pay. And after seeing Lucas close up during the Olympics, albeit the rare moments he made the field, United supporters would surely be wondering whether the money would've been better spent elsewhere.

Did Fergie avoid a pig in a poke?

For their part, Sao Paulo directors couldn't believe how easily they were able to force Ferguson into upping his offer. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, even after giving Lucas' parents a tour of the Santiago Bernabeu, deemed Sao Paulo's demands too rich. As did Massimo Moratti, the Inter Milan owner.

Only United were left. But somehow Juvencio was able to convince Ferguson to go higher ... and then higher again.

As Wagner Ribeiro, Lucas' agent, revealed last week, the fee was settled at £30 million, but by his own admission, if the player had pushed, Sao Paulo would have happily sold for LESS than £20 million.

Inside the Sao Paulo boardroom, they couldn't believe it. Lucas wasn't even a regular for Ney Franco's first team - and he certainly didn't appear a £30 million player during the Olympics.

Now, thanks to PSG, they have £42 million coming to them for a player, who won't leave until the New Year.

Ferguson made clear his frustration when the PSG news broke, "I find it quite amazing that a club can pay 45million euros for a 19-year-old boy."

But if Lucas is happy to choose Ligue Une and PSG's money over the Premier League and United, is he really a player for Ferguson's tight knit dressing room?

In the meantime, the lack of steel in his midfield was glaring on Monday night at Everton.

United's midfield barely laid a glove on the hosts, who were good value for their 1-0 win. They're screaming out for a combative, ball-winner. Paul Pogba would've slotted in nicely at Goodison Park behind Paul Scholes, Shinji Kagawa and Tom Cleverley. But that's not to be.

And is just what Ferguson should be using the Lucas cash on in the final days of the summer market.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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