Moura set for PSG switch

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed his interest in landing the midfielder last month and he missed Sunday’s friendly against Valerenga in order to try to push through a deal.

The Red Devils had appeared close to agreeing a fee with Sao Paulo for the 19-year-old, but big-spending PSG have now gazumped the Premier League club.

Reports had also suggested that United were unwilling to meet the demands of Moura’s agent and that the player had been put off a move to Manchester.

Moura has now admitted that talks are underway with PSG and he is expected to leave Sao Paulo in January in order to link up with compatriots Thiago Silva and Leonardo, who is the French club’s sporting director.

Focused

“This is a good thing,” Moura told Folha after Brazil’s Olympic Games semi-final win over South Korea. “I’ll stay at Sao Paulo until the end of the year. Things are well underway.”

He added to Globo Esporte: “No doubt that would be better because I can help Sao Paulo a bit more. I have always said that I want to win a title before leaving and qualify the team for the Libertadores Cup.

“If it happens in January, I’ll be able to do that for Sao Paulo.

“I’m focused on the national team. I can only say something after the Olympics. It’s well underway, but not done.

“I talked to Thiago Silva and Leonardo, they said many good things about the club, the project they are implementing there.”

Sao Paulo confirm PSG talks

Manchester United have already bid for the teenager this summer, whilst Inter Milan have also spoken to the 19-year-old.

However, neither United nor Inter have been able to meet Sao Paulo’s demands – which are reportedly around £45million (£35.7million).

Inter chief Massimo Moratti said on Tuesday that PSG had indeed made a bid which matched Sao Paulo’s valuation.

Now speaking to France-based newspaper Le 10 Sport, Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes has confirmed PSG have made contact.

Interest

“We have been probed by PSG about Lucas,” he admitted.

The Brazilian club’s official also confirmed that former Sao Paulo star and current PSG sporting director Leonardo was in regular contact.

“Leonardo has a very good relationship with Sao Paulo. But for now nothing is definite,” he added.

It is believed that PSG’s offer would see Moura remain in Brazil until January, but Lopes says the player will make the final decision on his future.

“The possibility exists but it is down to the player’s interests. The policy of Sao Paulo is to follow the desires of the player. If the player wishes to leave, Sao Paulo will not create any obstacle. But we must receive a proposal that is appropriate,” he said.

“It’s a financial issue. Paris Saint-Germain is a big club in European football and if the player’s interests and also the club’s are met, I do not see why it would not happen.”

Moratti reveals PSG bid for Moura

Manchester United had been leading the chase for the Brazilian forward and have been in talks with his club and his representatives.

But the English giants have been unable to agree terms and now big-spending PSG look to have agreed to Sao Paulo’s demands of a fee in excess of €40million – a figure United were unwilling to meet.

Inter were also very much in the bidding for Moura, but they too have baulked at the demands.

Now Moratti has stated that PSG, who have been tracking Moura for a number of months, have stepped up their interest by making a firm bid.

“Faced with such prices, we cannot compete. We have a different logic than that of Paris Saint Germain,” said Moratti.

“In any case, there are no regrets that we didn’t finish off the move, as the cost was already pretty high a few days ago.

“The €45m that PSG offered is completely illogical and for us it would’ve been very out of key with our approach.

“PSG are starting a new era, so they are completely reconstructing the squad. At least I can relish the fact I’m saving money.

“We were close to Lucas, for several days we talked about him, but honestly I never really believed in this deal, because it was too expensive.

“I have no regrets, the only certain thing now is that I saved money. (Bologna’s, Gaston) Ramirez and (Catania’s, Alejandro) Gomez as alternatives? There are many good players, but I don’t choose the players.”

Denial

Reports in Brazil have stated once Moura has finished playing in the Olympic football tournament a deal will be announced.

It is also claimed as part of the agreement with PSG – he would remain in Brazil until January, which also appealed to Sao Paulo.

Sao Paulo football director Adalberto Baptista told UOL: “I won’t talk about this subject anymore because that’s the fifth club the press say have signed Lucas.”

The player’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, insists talk of a move to PSG is hugely premature, insisting it was paper talk.

“I am in Europe to watch the games,” he told Terra.

“First they said Lucas was at Manchester United, now he belongs to PSG. Everyone is trying to build their story like a jigsaw puzzle.”

However, Thiago Silva, who is currently with Moura in London for the Olympics, hinted he had talked to him about PSG and there was something happening.

“I did suggest him to Leonardo as he asked me,” he told ESPN Brazil.

“I praised Lucas not because he plays with me, not because he is my friend but because he is a player that can contribute a lot to the national team. He is a skilful player that can decide in short space and finish quickly.

“Lucas and I have been talking since last week because I noticed something was reported on the press.

“Then I talked to Lucas to know what was going on. It’s still open, they are still talking but it’s not done.”

Xavi praises Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic joined Paris St Germain last month in a deal that saw him leave AC Milan, and his new club face Barca in a friendly in the French capital on Saturday.

Xavi, a three-time UEFA Champions League winner, believes the signing of the Sweden international is a move that can propel PSG to European success in the future.

“PSG are a very good side, they have signed some top level players like Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to add to the good players that were already there,” said the 32-year-old midfielder.

“They are another candidate for the Champions League. They have set themselves the objective of winning the Champions League in the short to medium term and they have the financial means.”

Top level

Xavi knows Ibrahimovic from the striker’s season with the Catalan club in 2009-10.

Although the 30-year-old target-man endured a difficult relationship with coach Pep Guardiola, he did find the net 21 times and Xavi has only positive words.

“He is a great signing,” said the Spaniard. “He performed fantastically for us and he is a top level player.

“He can bring a lot to them, and is the signing they needed to go on and win the French title.

“I don’t think he had a disappointing season (at Barcelona in 2009-10).

“We won La Liga and got to the semi-finals of the Champions League, he scored important goals and we had a good understanding with him on the pitch and in the dressing room.

“He only stayed one year but he didn’t leave behind a bad image.”

Pereira could leave Porto

The Uruguay international is under contract with Porto until the summer of 2016 and is valued at around €30million (£23.8m).

However, he has reportedly attracted the interest of a number of leading European clubs, including Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Paris St Germain, Napoli and Juventus have also been linked with the 26-year-old, whose representative believes a departure from Porto could happen.

Flavio Perchmen told Antena 1: “I spoke with Alvaro last week and he is calm. We are waiting to find out if there is any offer.

“We think everything will go well and that he can leave the club, but right now we do not have any concrete offer.”