Manchester United are talking to Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva, and with the player expressing a desire to play in Europe, this is one transfer Ed Woodward simply can't afford to miss out on.
As reported by Metro's Jamie Anderson, Silva's agent Luis Rocha confirmed he was talking with the Red Devils in an interview with Super Esportes:
"There are not many details that I can tell you, but I can confirm that I was approached by people linked to Manchester United," he said. "We are now just waiting for the official proposal."
Sky Sports' Paulo Freitas elaborated on that report, sharing the player's comments on playing overseas:
“I have the dream of playing in Europe, but I don't want to leave Cruzeiro the wrong way."
Silva added to Globo Esporte: "My agents make me aware when there is something, when some teams talk or make contact. They assure me they handle this and that I have to worry about what happens on the pitch. I have to do my work well at Cruzeiro so people will still talk about me outside Brazil."
Silva isn't the transfer fans of the Red Devils have been waiting for all summer. United need players who can contribute immediately, particularly given the club's mediocre start to the 2014-15 Premier League season.
The 21-year-old is an outstanding player, but he's likely too young and inexperienced to anchor the team's central areas in his first Premier League season. That's not to say he won't immediately help out—Spanish football insider Sergi Dominguez detailed what kind of player United would be getting:
Lucas Silva is a great DM prospect. Deft, offers great defensive & physical presence. Incisive passes too. Very promising.— Sergi Domínguez (@FutbolSergi) August 21, 2014
Silva isn't a box-to-box midfielder like Arturo Vidal or Bastian Schweinsteiger, although he has the potential to grow into such a role. As of right now, his value lies as a deep playmaker with the physical makeup to add a strong defensive presence in front of the Red Devils' back four.
He's widely regarded as one of the best young players in the Brazilian league, and fans were disappointed when Ramires was picked to go to the 2014 World Cup instead of him. His potential is tantalising, which is why United reportedly face competition for his signature from Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.
Silva can't be the only midfield signing the club makes between now and the end of the transfer window, but given the fact they're already in talks with his agent and his public desire to play in Europe, Woodward simply can't afford to lose out on yet another target.
Writing for Metro, the Republik of Mancunia voiced what most of the club's fans are currently thinking: Woodward keeps making promises he refuses to keep.
Over a month ago, Woodward claimed he had been working with Louis van Gaal for ‘several weeks’ in regards to transfers, and to ‘watch this space’ for when players would be signing.
The most damning statement of all was: ‘There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong and funds are available.’
If that is true, why are United a week away from the window closing with fewer players in the squad than last season? For the most profitable club in England, that is unacceptable, and both Woodward and the Glazers owe the fans an explanation.
The 2014 summer transfer window was supposed to be a fresh start. The club brought in a world-class manager in Louis van Gaal and promised plenty of reinforcements to improve on the disastrous season they underwent with David Moyes.
Should United sign Silva?
At this point in time, the fans should have been excited. New players, promising performances on the pitch and a return to the top of English football is what everyone had been looking forward to for months.
Instead, Woodward's sheer ineptitude in the transfer market and a rash of injuries have ruined the start of this new campaign, and fans are every bit as upset as they were four months ago.
Losing yet another transfer target to a direct rival or a club that doesn't have the financial means the Red Devils do is unacceptable at this point. Even if Silva is a signing for the future and more is needed to help the team win now, Woodward simply can't fail to bring him to Old Trafford.
Any new signing instills a sense of optimism in the fans, and after so many empty promises, the United faithful deserve to be excited about something for a change.