The game’s gone mad! Sir Alex shocked by PSG’s €45m Lucas deal
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits his shock at seeing Paris Saint-Germain land Lucas Moura for £35.5m
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted his shock at Paris Saint-Germain’s €45m (£35.5m) signing of Lucas Moura, with the Brazilian spurning the chance to join Manchester United.
The 19-time English champions had a bid rejected for the Sao Paulo attacking midfielder in July, forcing Sir Alex Ferguson to up his offer as the United manager sought to finalise a deal.
But PSG’s director of football Leonardo made a late move for his compatriot and the cash-rich Ligue 1 outfit confirmed the capture of the winger on Wednesday.
“I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45m for a 19-year-old boy,” Ferguson said. “To make a mark on everyone – to tell everyone that PSG are here – they’ve signed Thiago Silva from Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“They must have spent about €150m in the last month. As you know, the only deterrent to that is Uefa.
“In the conditions of European football, you don’t qualify for Europe by winning the league or coming second – you only get in by invitation. That’s where, hopefully, Uefa can have some power.
“When somebody’s paying €45m for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”
Lucas’ agent revealed Leonardo played a crucial role in convincing his client to reject a move to United and join PSG.
“Everything was agreed between Sao Paulo and Manchester United,” Wagner Ribeiro told UOL.
“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.”
Lucas will link up with his new club in January 2013 after agreeing a four-and-a-half year deal with the Ligue 1 side.