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Why Did Lucas Pick PSG Over United?

Manchester United were favourites to land Lucas Moura in the summer, with the club being prepared to spend an incredible £35m on a player who had never played outside of Brazil. However, at the last minute, the player opted to sign for PSG instead.

“Everything was agreed between Sao Paulo and Manchester United,” his agent, Ribeiro, said in August. “The contract had been written and just needed to be signed. But then Leonardo called me and asked to talk to Lucas. They talked. Leonardo was helped by the fact he is Brazilian. He was very gentle with Lucas. The possibility of living in Paris – a much more pleasant city than Manchester – also influenced his decision. But it was PSG’s project that impressed Lucas.”

Last November, Lucas went in to a bit more detail over his reasons for choosing PSG, claiming that United wanted him to join the club straight away whilst PSG were prepared to let him stay in Brazil until December.

“Manchester United last summer? We were very close to an agreement,” he said. “But I finally signed at Paris for several reasons. For the challenge to build a great team in Paris, because there are a lot of Brazilian players at PSG and also because signing at PSG, I could stay at Sao Paulo until the end of the Brazilian season. Leonardo convinced me. He talked to my parents, told me I could stay until December and explained PSG’s ambitions and objectives.”

However, with us close to a year after the snub, Lucas has told FourFourTwo that whilst being allowed to stay in Brazil influenced his move, PSG offered him more money.

“I was really close to signing for Manchester United during the Olympics last year,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy decision but in the end I joined PSG, largely because they allowed me to stay in Brazil until the end of the year. And PSG’s terms were better.”

Lucas has received rave reviews since moving to France and clearly is a talented player. Only time will tell whether he’s worth £35m and the top salary PSG are paying him. Having watched him throughout the Olympics last summer, it was obvious he had potential but he didn’t really shine when he was on the pitch. Now playing in an inferior league, where Joey Barton is a regular starter in midfield for the 2nd best team in the country, Lucas is showing what he’s capable of. Would he have been able to perform at that level in the Premier League? We’ll never know…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dazbomber says:

    He wanted to play for a team with prestige and are renown around Europe, or may be the money

  2. Duncan says:

    ‘Terms’ doesn’t automatically mean better money.

  3. TheCANTONA says:

    In the end, money talks…

  4. kk says:

    His reasons are objective as the 2nd last paragraph says

  5. Costas says:

    Was always going to come down to who offered more.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Money. It is ever thus.

    But puts a lie to the montra that we are only trying to sign forwards.
    Sir Alex definitely thought the deal was done.

    People don’t realize the incredible pressure our scouts are under to identify the right type of player for Manchester United. With the number of A list clubs (in terms of Money) rising, the depth of quality is becoming alarming.

    Tried to sign:
    Wesley Sneijder

    Lost [injury, sickness, or youthful impatience immaturity]
    Owen Hargreaves
    Darren Fletcher
    Paul Pogba/Ravel Morrison

    Coming through:
    Nick Powell
    Ryan Tunnicliffe
    Larnell Cole
    Davide Petrucci
    Adnan Januzaj

    Hopeful, we have a good summer!

  7. The Left Bank says:

    Just another one of those ‘one who got away’ stories like Shearer or Gascoigne in the 90s.

    It’s easy to look back and think ‘what if?’ and truth is we will never know. We might be saying the same thing about Giggs who was on the verge on signing of Citeh! In the end these things even out.

    But we all know that SAF has still managed to build great teams with by and large the right players.

  8. soccerisfootbal says:

    truth be told i don’t think we would have signed RVP if we had already paid the 35 million for moura.

    i think it was a blessing in disguise.

    besides, there always seems to be some wonder-kid in the market every summer.. from ozil, to sanchez (flop…but everyone wanted him the summer he left), to hazard/moura, and now to what looks to be isco/lamela, and then next summer neymar/bale and whoever else pops up (keep an eye out for bernard from ronaldinho’s club in brazil). somehow reus flew under the radar, but i hope we don’t miss out on all of these young pacy winger starlets. just one will do.

    i just hope fergie hasn’t bought zaha thinking he is in that elite category. he has a lot of raw talent but i don’t think he can compare to guys like isco at the moment, so it remains to be seen what his impact will be next summer.

  9. soccerisfootbal says:

    ^impact will be next season*, not next summer.

    also fergie keeps talking about januzaj in the news. maybe he will add some mass this summer and potentially break into the first team at some point next season. who knows. kid’s get a lot of skill/vision and he’s a hard worker. i like his style, but he needs to bulk up, and maybe get some leg training to boost acceleration/speed.

  10. mara says:

    Question is stupid, but answer easy…he picked PSG because of money….
    but this is great

  11. Jay says:

    I wouldn’t blame him for picking PSG, a lot of his countrymen are there and if they did offer him more money so what. At least he is honest.

  12. AlphaRS says:

    Better Terms don’t necessarily mean he was offered more money.

    If he went for Leonardo then it was a bad choice because as they also mentioned on the Guardian Podcast that he is off at the end of the season to Milan

    If it is such a fantastic proect why is he leaving?! Ha.

    Players realise later on in life when they look back at whether they’re happy with the decisions they made. Personally i thought £35 million was a lot of money for a player who had no experience of playing in a big league. But he looked quite good against Barcelona…!

  13. King Eric says:

    Greedy cunt simple as. I FUCKING HATE this “project” bollocks.

  14. parryheid says:

    The Cantona.


    But it dont Sing and Dance and it Cant Walk.

  15. wayne says:

    King Eric me to mate,the worst 2 Rent Boy clubs City and PSG go on and on about a project.Last week Brian Kidd about Bobby Manc being fired said the project is coming on fine.WHAT FUCKING PROJECT the cunts will be looking to sign another 5 or 6 rent boys this summer because half the other cunts are loaned out to other clubs or are already washed up
    What is any player who’s any good going to PSG, wtf does any player with drive and ambition expect to achieve by pissing the French league year after year when no other team can compete,fucking scummy rent boy cunt’s.The cunt’s who end up going to PSG are the lowest form of rent boy,it makes me fucking puke.Young lad like Moura should want a challenge to prove himself not just worry about collecting a paycheck and having a easy time of it,don’t care how fucking good he is,all he is is a greedy fucking tosser with no ambition,fuck him

  16. King Eric says:

    wayne – Spot on mate.

  17. slim says:

    Would have welcomed him but he ultimately chose to play for PSG. Its natural he’ll want to go with his country men. I doubt if say scotland or N.I produced the next leo messi and FSW and SAF were interested, he’d go for the spanish waiter.


    I knew the project line would get you riled

  18. Tope99 says:

    The fact that he’ll win the french league and he went to the quarters in uerope will make him happier he chose psg over united.there are some brazilians there and he decided to go to paris and not just cant criticize him for anything.But I just dont see him worth 35m

  19. denton davey says:

    I’m happy that RVP was signed – and I hope that this summer there is another more-experienced, quality addition rather than “prospects”. UTD have plenty of great prospects – some already in the first-team and others knocking on the door – but what about the “middle-aged” group ?

    Out of TheWayneBoy, Jonny Evans, Nani, AV7, Anderson, and Ashley Young, there are two hits and four misses by my calculations – while DarrenFletcherinho is greatly missed and is unlikely to ever come back to his “football genius” mode (if he can come back at all).

    So, it seems to me that if the wages are roughly equal for, say, Lucas Moura and, say, Shinji Kagawa, then it’s a no-brainer to pay the KagawaBunga-type – someone who has both experience at the top level and in Europe rather than a South American super-prospect who may (or may not) adapt to a different culture and/or a different league.

    There’s too much palaver about “re-sale value” – what you want to get for the transfer money is a guy who is prime-time ready.

  20. King Eric says:

    Course you can criticize him Tope. Read Wayne’s thoughts. They are greedy scum. Fucking no mark clubs like PSG attracting top players. Yeah bet that would have happened prior to the oil money. Bet Moura wouldn’t have heard of PSG two or three years ago. As Wayne said fuck all ambition wanting to toss it off in league fucking une or whatever joke league it is.

  21. King Eric says:

    I am baffled as to why some want Tony sold ( Denton)! He hasn’t had a good season but he’ll be back. No chance Fergie will sell him.

  22. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Lucas or Zaha for a third of the money. Less wages,local lad and great talent.
    Personally I thought we were mad to go for Lucas and I was relieved we didn’t buy him.

  23. chica chica says:

    With the new French Tax of 70%, how can it not be impacted by FFP? Most clubs can’t raise much commercial money.
    RM and Barca have an unfair practice of grabbing most of the Spanish League’s Euros leaving an unbalanced playing field for the other 18 teams.

  24. ColinZeal says:

    Wow, that´s a pretty bitter last line in the article. You ok son?

  25. Daniel88 says:

    Seeing him against Barcelona just made me think we have missed out here.

    Why people get annoyed when footballers say they went to a club for money is baffling. Any sane person will choose more money over less money for the same fucking job. Unless the player in question is a fan of a club money being the primary goal is understandable. So often these players come from very poor backgrounds but even if they dont more money is better.

    Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole aren’t good enough to be United players.

    Them nicknames for United players are lame.

  26. denton davey says:

    Kind Eric @ 23: 16: ” am baffled as to why some want Tony sold ( Denton)!”

    Hey, why are you singling me out ? I’ve never “wanted” AV7 sold – I’ve always wanted to see the back of AshleyYoung but I’ve written that that won’t happen unless pigs can fly.

    With regard to TonyV, I think he’s something of a “teacher’s pet” – just like ThreeLungPark – because SAF wants his power and energy in certain circumstances so I just don’t think he’s likely to be sold. Alas, he’s more of a squad/depth player than the almost-star we saw last year.


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