Several news outlets, including the Daily Mail are reporting that Manchester United have made a bid in the region of £30 million for the Brazilian central attacking midfielder, Lucas Moura. The news comes just a day after an announcement from the 19-year-old Sao Paulo player, stating that he no longer wished to ply his trade in the Brazilian League come the start of next season.
Inter Milan were favourites to sign the teenage sensation, with the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid also keenly interested in acquiring his signature. However, this news suddenly puts United straight back in front in the race for Lucas.
In fact, a delegation from Inter spoke with Lucas' father and agent this past Friday, and it seemed for the world like a deal might be made between the two parties before any of the other European giants could have a say in the matter.
United throwing their hand into the pot in such a massive way changes all of that however. Lucas himself seems to be choosing no favourites when it comes to a move away from Sao Paulo. Speaking recently, he said:
"I cannot guarantee that I will stay until the end of my contract,
"Much has changed and the situation is not up to me any more.
"I know my father and my agent had a meeting (with Inter) but I don't know what was said. Now I will go to the Olympics with my mind only on winning a gold medal."
The bid from United ties in directly with Moura's Olympic campaign in London this summer. Sir Alex will be keen to wrap up the signing just in case a world class performance on the Olympic stage re-encourages the likes of Madrid or perhaps even Barca to come in for the fledgling talent once more. Real have all but left the hunt for Lucas, with their deal for Luka Modric now seeming more like a case of "when" and not "if".
It would also be wise not to rule Chelsea out of the picture still. The blues have already snapped up one of United's key transfer targets of the summer, Eden Hazard, and it would not be out of the question that this could happen again here. Lucas' agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has strong ties with the directors at Stamford Bridge and could as a result sway things in their direction.
Still, this is very positive news for United, who are more than keen to sign this young superstar and slowly begin to regain that midfield dominance that has eluded them for the best part of a decade now.