Manchester United Transfer Focus - Ferguson could look to South America for inspiration
As Lucas Moura's proposed move from Sao Paulo to Old Trafford threatens to develop into a full-blown transfer saga, the situation with Robin van Persie could already be considered as such. In the meantime, Manchester United could do well to look in a similar direction as Lucas as a number of options from South America look able to fill a gap in Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
The motives behind the Scot's public discussion of his targets have been debated, and subsequently linked to the IPO that will see Manchester United listed on the New York Stock Exchange. There is therefore pressure on the deposed Premier League champions to deliver an exciting signing as the start of the new season draws closer.
United's supporters however may be a little concerned about the nature of the players that are being most strongly linked to the club. Although van Persie and Lucas would represent the excitement that is desired, there are perhaps other options that would be more suitable for the side at present.
The BBC reported that Lucas' Brazilian teammate Oscar has signed for Chelsea in a deal worth around £25m. The playmaker could have been an ideal fit for a United squad that is lacking influence in the middle of the park. There have been numerous jokes going around social media sites that have poked fun at United's "Polo formation", in that there is a gaping hole in the centre of midfield.
Ferguson could look at another of Brazil's starlets, Ganso, as a worthwhile target to counteract these criticisms. The 22-year-old has been linked by the Mirror to Arsenal and Tottenham, but his composure on the ball and slick passing would make him an ideal acquisition for United. He has a reported release clause in his contract in the region of £45m, but any deal would likely take place at a lower figure than this.
The Santos midfielder has struggled with injuries in the past couple of years and this has somewhat curtailed his progress. He is however blessed with great touch and vision, and his ability to dictate the pace of a game would help alleviate the burden on Paul Scholes, who could be about to embark on his final season at the club. Ganso would surely only benefit from a season of teaming up with the player that has most effectively dictated United's play for the past decade.
The Old Trafford outfit has also been linked with River Plate midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano, as reported by the Mirror. The Argentina Under-20 international is a defensively minded player who would be available for something in the region of £5m. Aside from Michael Carrick, and with Darren Fletcher's prolonged absence, United do not have any notable defensive midfielders. The tough Argentinian, who stands at over 6' 3", could be a long-term option for Ferguson as he continues to build a youthful squad full of potential to improve.
Both van Persie and Lucas would fulfill the notion of a marquee signing in this transfer window, but there are other options, one of which that has already been missed, that could better suit the United squad.
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