In Manchester United signed every player they were linked to in the transfer window, we’d have a squad of hundreds of players.
Some people you want to see us linked to, like Mesut Ozil, who would reportedly cost us £35m this January so that Arsenal could recoup some money on a player who is set to leave for free in the summer.
Other transfer stories are less pleasing to see, like Chelsea’s David Luiz, who some papers are claiming is in talks with United.
Jose Mourinho sold Luiz to PSG at the end of his first season during his second stint in west London. Gary Neville called him a “PlayStation footballer”, with his erratic style leading to plenty of goalscoring chances for teams facing Chelsea.
When Luiz returned to Chelsea under Antonio Conte, he was asked whether his more attacking and positive approach had seen him fall out of favour with Mourinho.
“Hey, that is not just Mourinho,” Luiz said. “In Brazil they say it, too. Defenders must be pessimists. I cannot be that. I am an optimist in my life. I’m positive. I always think and dream of the best things. But I know where I am. I don’t want to take my small boat and go against a wave of 20 metres. Maybe I can go around the sides, and we’ll arrive. I’ll try to find a way.”
Luiz has never been a popular player with United fans. He often gets away with snide challenges against our players. Last season he had his studs on Marouane Fellaini’s knee in the first half yet only received a yellow card from Martin Atkinson for his sending off offence.
When United played Chelsea in 2011, even Chelsea’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, conceded that Luiz should have sent off for the number of yellow card offences he made. He could have seen a straight red when he denied Wayne Rooney a clear goalscoring opportunity. He wasn’t even booked for it.
Yet the moment most United fans probably think of when reflecting on the sort of play Luiz is happened when the two teams met in 2013.
Rafael Da Silva was guilty of a kick out on Luiz and the Brazilian fell to the floor, grabbing his ankle. With his back the referee, feigning injury, Luiz was smiling. Rafael was duly sent off and Luiz jumped up unharmed. Luiz later claimed he was laughing at the United fans calling him “Sideshow Bob”.
“That is bad,” Sir Alex Ferguson said after the game. “What kind of professional is that?”
Luiz can’t get in to Chelsea’s starting XI anymore. He certainly should not be a player United are looking at. Hopefully Mourinho agrees.
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