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Lucas Moura Says 'I Was Very Close to Signing with Manchester United'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on December 15, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur's Lucas Moura has said he was close to joining Manchester United before he made the switch from Sao Paulo to Paris Saint-Germain in the 2012-13 season. 

In the summer of 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson said United were interested in the Brazilian winger, who was then just 19.

It was subsequently announced that he would move to PSG in January 2013, and he went on to win four Ligue 1 titles before moving to Spurs for £25 million in January 2018.

Moura has now said there was a firm basis to the rumours linking him with United, and he was close to moving to Old Trafford, per ESPN Brasil (h/t Goal's Chris Burton):  

"Yes, there was a conversation [with United]. I was very close to signing with Manchester United. It was still at the time of Ferguson. I ended up choosing PSG, I spent five fantastic years there, I won a lot, learned a lot. I do not regret it. Despite the hard times, the bad times, I don't regret it because I grew a lot, I learned a lot. Now I'm here in the Premier League, and it's a new hope."

Moura, 27, has made 15 appearances in the Premier League this term, eight of them starts, netting four goals and providing an assist.

Four of his starts have come since Jose Mourinho was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's successor late last month, and he has scored in Spurs' last two league wins against Burnley and Wolverhampton Wanderers:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Lucas Moura has scored three goals in just five Premier League appearances under José Mourinho. He'd only scored once in 10 games under Mauricio Pochettino this season. Watch on @BBCOne https://t.co/SEfSNwDXBg #MOTD2 https://t.co/q7k20BUk6G

The Portuguese manager has overseen four wins from his five league games in charge of the north London club, propelling Spurs from 14th in the table to fifth.

In the meantime, fourth-placed Chelsea have lost four of their last five games in the English top flight, meaning Spurs are just a win away from the UEFA Champions League spots:

Premier League @premierleague

17/38 https://t.co/lgJSxkOUdD

In this season's edition of Europe's top-tier tournament, Tottenham were handed a last-16 tie against RB Leipzig in Monday's draw:

B/R Football @brfootball

Dortmund vs. PSG Real Madrid vs. Man City Atalanta vs. Valencia Atletico vs. Liverpool Chelsea vs. Bayern Lyon vs. Juventus Tottenham vs. RB Leipzig Napoli vs. Barcelona The last 16. Bring it. 💥 #UCLdraw https://t.co/4hA0hpMcDa

It will be a tough tie for Spurs but is definitely winnable, and it is preferable to the potential ties against PSG, Juventus or Barcelona that they could have drawn.