Brazil expert on Lucas Moura to Manchester United
With Lucas Moura to Manchester United all over the news in recent days, Sambafoot spoke to renowned Brazilian football expert Paulo Freitas (@cynegeticus) about the transfer. Paulo is the Head researcher for Football Manager in Brazil and also, a correspondent for Sky Sports.
We've all seen the news in recent days, what do you make of it all? Would Lucas be a good or bad investment?
PF: Lucas is young - still only 19 - and has some attributes that would prove useful in the Premier League like his speed and his relative strength (despite the fact he is short). However, he is yet to fully convince even São Paulo fans, not to mention the fact that he is not a first teamer in Brazil's Olympic team.
His lack of consistency and poor performances in big games have lead many people in Brazil to doubt his talent. But these are problems he will most likely correct as he matures. The main issue is undoubtedly his transfer fee. São Paulo want around 40 million Euros - a fee normally expected for well-established stars. That fee makes him a huge gamble, and greatly reduces any potential re-sale profit also.
Will São Paulo sell him then? There are conflicting reports on this...
PF: The negotiations are complicated because there are parties are involved: São Paulo, Manchester United and Lucas Moura himself. He owns 20% of his economic rights and that percentage will grow to 30% in August. As São Paulo want €30 million for the percentage they own, that means a deal will have to be reached in July. or the club that buy him will have to make an even bigger offer in order to reach that fee for their share.
There is a way that problem could be circumvented though, as Lucas Moura may give up of the percentage he is due, thus allowing the club that buy him to pay only the amount São Paulo want for themselves (€30 million).
This type of negotiation tends to be long and complicated, but as long as Manchester United remain interested in signing him a deal will be possible as the player is willing to join them and it would be a profitable move for his agent as well.
Will he fit in the Premier League?
PF: As mentioned, he is relatively strong despite his lack of height. He is fast and has great technical skills, all attributes that would make him a good replacement for Nani at Manchester United and enable him to adapt quickly to English football. Lucas is also a fairly versatile player, usually playing as a forward at São Paulo, but also able to play as an attacking midfielder, as well as on the right wing.
Lucas' decision-making on the pitch can be an issue, often prefering to dribble rather than to pass, but Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson has shown before that he can develop this style of player. Given Lucas' age, chances are that his decision-making will naturally improve as he gains experience.