The agent of Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura has revealed how close the Brazilian was to joining Manchester United back in 2013.
Former Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas was heavily linked with a transfer to Man United before he moved to the French capital.
The 22-year-old has gone on to become a crucial part of Laurent Blanc’s side, although he is currently sidelined having suffered a muscle injury.
Things could have been different for Lucas as his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, spoke of how close he was to joining United.
Speaking about Lucas, Ribeiro said: “Manchester United were prepared to pay £23m.
“Gustavo Vieira [Sao Paulo sporting director] was in Manchester to finalise the deal, but then I called [former PSG sporting director] Leonardo, who was interested [in Moura].
“I told Gustavo to stall negotiations in Manchester and find me in Paris. We closed the deal at £34m.”
At the time, Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t mince his words and made it clear how frustrated he was at the situation by saying ‘the game’s gone mad’ following Moura’s €45m move to PSG.
“I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45 million for a 19-year-old boy,” Ferguson said in 2012.
“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 €150 million in the last month. As you know, the only deterrent to that is UEFA. “When somebody’s paying €45 million for a 19-year-old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad.”
Unfortunately for United, they have been close to signing a number of excellent players before being let down at the final hurdle.
Players such as Luca Modric, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale have all turned down United at various points before going on to achieve great things.
Further back, United were said to be on the verge of signing Ronaldinho before he ended up at Barcelona. However, the club did make up for it by signing a scrawny youngster called Cristiano Ronaldo instead and that worked out quite well.