How close did United come to signing Lucas Moura in 2018?

Alexis Sanchez’s spell at Manchester United has regressed from poor, to disastrous.
United’s best ever paid player has been a major disappointment, and his woeful performance against Huddersfield last week should be his last ever for the club.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s clear now United made a mistake in January 2018.
That was underlined this week when Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick for Tottenham in the Champions League semi-finals.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Lucas was available from Paris Saint-Germain last January and United were claimed to be keen. After Sanchez signed, United shelved their interest.
Sky Sports’ Kav Solhekol told The Express in 2018: “Now, if United do sign Alexis Sanchez, that will end their interest in Moura.  He expects to leave PSG this month and he’s hinted that he’d be interested in a move to England.”
Sanchez signed from Arsenal and that was it. Lucas ended up signing for Spurs instead of United, at just
£25 million.

(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

It first looked like the wrong move back in August when Lucas scored a brace at Old Trafford.

Sanchez was a bigger name, but the warning signs were there that he was the way down, as he was a non-factor in his last few months at Arsenal.
Lucas was a better fit for United’s needs, with the team still lacking wingers. He is four years younger than Sanchez, and his wages are considerably cheaper.
Even forgetting Sanchez, Moura was a top quality player available at a bargain price who would have strengthened United anyway. His performance on Wednesday night was sensational.
There are other top quality wingers out there still, but not many capable of producing what the Brazilian did in the Champions League semi-final with his team down and out. United need to be smarter this summer.

Hopefully it is a lesson which can be learned from, with moves for ageing stars Gareth Bale and Ivan Perisic avoided, and younger players like Jadon Sancho or Joao Felix signed instead.

Read more: Spanish wonderkid trains with Manchester United’s first team

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

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