Manchester United have made significant developments this summer. With Sir Alex’s focus on strengthening his midfield with young talent, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell have already joined the Red Devils this summer.
However United’s rebuilding looked to be put on hold earlier this week when Lucas Moura’s agent Wagner Riberio declared that United simply did not have the money to offer to lure the player away from Sao Paolo.
Yet according to the Mirror such a transfer could be right back on the table. After his agent denied that Manchester United could get a deal done, Moura’s bosses at Sao Paolo have stated a deal is still alive. Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes, Sao Paolo’s Vice President, stated that the club had left talks with Manchester United leaving the door open for a future move.
Despite such encouraging signs however United will certainly have their work cut out if they want to lure Moura from Brazil. Despite highlighting that such talks would be possible in the future, Vice President Lopes didn’t fail to mention Moura’s desire to stay in his native Brazil. Although Lucas would certainly find a move to Manchester appealing, he is only 19 years old and may find it daunting to leave his home country this early in his career.
The question that arises from such a revelation is why did Moura’s agent state that United didn’t have a chance of signing the midfielder? It appears again that this is a case of agents having too much influence in footballing decisions.
Wagner Riberio’s jibes that Manchester United did not possess the funding to acquire Moura can only be for one purpose – to attract a higher transfer fee for his player and thus put a little more in his back pocket. Such an interaction with the media is another reminder of a growing issue in world football, which is the increased role of agents in footballing decisions.
Sao Paolo’s announcement that bridges had not been burnt with United over a deal will surely only embarrass Riberio. Not only has he picked the wrong club to mess with – Sir Alex is certainly not one to act on impulse after jibes from an agent – but he has ridiculed himself and most likely embarrassed his client Lucas Moura.
In fact Sao Paolo’s decision reply to reports that a deal would not be done was the perfect response to the work of Wagner Riberio. Such public condemnation of reports has put the agent in his place and surely served as an example for others in the money-grabbing industry.
For United fans the good news is that funds are not an issue at Old Trafford with the Moura deal certainly possible as we head into August. However sadly this incident highlights an issue in football that FIFA should try to affect in the near future. Football has become too business-like as it is, it does not need agents further adding to the mix and influencing footballing decisions.
This has something that has to be stopped, otherwise the reputation of the beautiful game may be further tarnished.
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