Manchester United Transfer Focus - Lucas Moura heads Ferguson's list of targets
As Manchester United continued their pre-season preparations in Norway with an entertaining 0-0 draw against Valerenga on Sunday, a number of transfer rumours gathered pace. The friendly in Oslo was notable for the return of captain Nemanja Vidic - who will seem like a new signing to Sir Alex Ferguson - but also for the fact that the Scot remained in Manchester to potentially sew up a deal for Lucas Moura.
The Daily Mail claimed that Lucas was having a medical in Manchester, although the Brazilian Football Federation denied that they had given the 19-year-old midfielder permission to leave his country's Olympic camp. A fee of £30m is thought to have been agreed with Sao Paulo, which would represent a cause for excitement on behalf on United's supporters at a time when the financial side of the club has been hitting the headlines.
The same article also claims that a deal for Robin van Persie could be influenced by Ferguson's decision to remain at home. Both the Dutchman and his potential new manager will be keen to complete the move as soon as possible, with van Persie set to join his Arsenal teammates for a training camp in Germany this week in advance of a friendly against Cologne next Sunday. The United boss would prefer to have the reigning PFA Player of the Year in his own camp as the new season draws ever closer, with just two weeks until the opening fixture at Goodison Park.
Despite Ferguson's quest to lure the Gunners captain to Old Trafford, the Daily Mail is also reporting an interest in Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The 23-year-old is linked with a £12m switch that would see him join United in the summer of 2013, when the Pole would be entering the final year of his contract.
The Reds are also interested in Athletic Bilbao's Spanish international Fernando Llorente - according to the Metro - who is in the final 12 months of his own contract. Should the powerful forward fail to agree fresh terms with the Basque club, United could complete a free transfer in January for the man that scored against them in both legs of last season's Round of 16 in the Europa League.
In other news, Juventus have officially confirmed the signing of French midfielder Paul Pogba, who allowed his contract at Old Trafford to run down, and decided against staying in Manchester. The youngster could have seen opportunities develop in the coming season thanks to United's perceived weakness in the centre of the park, but opted to move to the Italian champions instead.
Elsewhere, Sky Sports have linked United to Swansea full-back Neil Taylor, who impressed for Team GB during the Olympic football tournament. Taylor possesses a versatility that will impress Ferguson, able to operate on the left or right hand side of the back-line.
United take on Barcelona in Gothenburg on Wednesday in a game that Ferguson is likely to attend. After a week where he was compelled to defend his support of the Glazer family, fans will be hoping that the manager has delivered at least one marquee signing by the time he departs these shores.
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