Man Utd are believed to be stepping up their chase for Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Moura, as Ferguson looks to add some attacking verve to his central midfield.
Despite only narrowly missing out on the title, United were, at times, too one dimensional in their approach. Using a combination of Carrick, Giggs and Scholes in midfield, they lacked any real creativity in the middle, given the increasing immobility of their older statesmen. Their performances were excellent, but relied heavily on spraying the ball out wide and dictating the game from a deep position.
Giggs made 8 assists last season, but their next highest non-winger creator was Rooney, with 4. Nani, Young and Valencia made a combined 30 assists in the campaign. United could use some more direct attacking play in the centre of the pitch.
On occasions their system broke down; in the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle last season, Tiote and Cabaye were able to bully the ageing Giggs and Scholes out of the game. In the 1-0 defeat against Wigan, Martinez managed to successfully stifle Valencia and Young, stunting their primary attacking threat and allowing them to keep a clean sheet.
Another creative option, and a central one, is exactly what Lucas Moura would bring. The youngster has impressed for club and country, but it is unlikely that he could make the transition to England fluidly enough to slot straight into the first eleven. His performances at the Olympics will tell us a lot about his Man Utd potential.
The biggest stumbling block is the asking price, with Sao Paolo having already rejected a £32 million bid from Chelsea. It is believed that Ferguson is willing to go higher than his initial £30 million offer, with a delegation set to discuss the transfer with the club this week. With increasing interest from clubs across Europe, all eager to land a 19 year old that is widely tipped to become one of the world’s best players, Ferguson is hoping he will sign on the dotted line before the Olympics begins.
Yet more exposure of his talents can only raise his valuation, as well as attracting attention from clubs that are yet to express an interest in the Brazilian play-maker.
Having already secured the services of Kagawa, Ferguson is close to completing his summer objectives. Lucas Moura would offer a dimension to the team that may just raise their game to the next level, as Man Utd hope to recover from their disappointing season and challenge for multiple honours once again.
Alex runs www.thechalkboard.org.uk, a website that gives in-depth tactical analysis of the weekend’s football action, offering match reports with statistics, diagrams, and intellectual insight into the modern game. Follow @ak_chalkboardLike what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!