The Departures Lounge: Fergie remembers that United need a midfielder

Young Brazilian hotshot Lucas Moura isn’t exactly going to fill that grafty hole in the middle of the park though.


WE’LL LEVEL WITH you right here, reader; today has not been a very busy day in the Departures Lounge.

(We’ve a theory on this which basically involves major signings being announced on a Tuesday, with a press conference on Thursday, therefore ensuring total dominance of the mid-week news cycle but we won’t bore you with that. Too late?)

The good news is that Alex Ferguson appears to have realised that whatever pennies remain in Manchester United’s Glazer-ravaged warchest might be better spent on a midfielder than on, hmmm, Robin van Persie. The bad news is that Brazilian teenage sensation Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva (we’ll address him by his full title to avoid confusion with Brazil’s other midfield sensation Lucas) is not really the kind of Roy Keane ball-winner that United actually need.

Still Fergie has approximately 23.7 times more managerial experience than everyone here at combined, even when you include Football Manager, so we’ll leave this one to him for now anyway.


Lil’ Lucas was in the shop window on Friday night when Brazil’s Olympic team did their thang against Great Britain but the Daily Mirror’s reported £26m deal seems like a pretty hefty wedge, particularly for a 19-year-old. It’s also very unlike Fergie to admit his “interest” in a player he’s actually interested in until the deal is signed on the dotted line, which suggests that this may be another ploy to drive up the price for buyers elsewhere.  But who knows?

Chelsea’s interest in Polish phenom Robert Lewandowski seems a little bit more concrete, especially as Roman’s plaything are the least likely of his suitors to balk at the inflated price tag which Borussia Dortmund seem determined to attach. At the weekend Maik Barthel, Lewa’s agent, told that £13m is not a suitable fee which will probably smoke out the chancers fairly quickly.


Over at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger seems pretty resigned to the fact that Robin van Persie is going to leave — a lesson which London rivals Tottenham Hotspur might do well to learn in their dealings with Luka Modric.

Arsene’s not in the market for defensive midfielder either, quashing speculation linking the Gunners to Yann M’Vila by reeling off a long list of injured players currently on the club’s books who can do the job every bit as well as the French international.

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One Frenchman who might actually be on the move is left-full Aly Cisshoko who is being linked with a switch from lovely Lyon to glamorous Goodison Park. If you believe talkSPORT — which we don’t — £7m will be enough for the Moyesiah to get his man.


And in the day’s biggest real transfer news, Premier League new boys West Ham have signed Swiss teenager Raphael Spiegel from Grasshoppers for an undisclosed. The U20 international has signed a three-year contract with an option for a further year should he decide that east London is really where he wants to spend his formative years.

See, told you it was a quiet day.

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Niall Kelly

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