Paris Saint-Germain have further flexed their financial muscles this week and beaten Manchester United to the signing of Brazilian teenager Lucas Moura.

The Sao Paulo attacking midfielder has signed a four year deal with the Parisian outfit, and will join up with the squad in January 2013 after finishing the current campaign in Brazil.

The fee is reported to be €45M, pushing Moura into the top 10 transfers of all-time list, and making him the youngest player on that list by a distance.  The 19 year old had also been attracting attention from Inter Milan; however the offer to join the PSG revolution has proved hard to turn down.

The club has been criticised widely for the large amounts spent on new players, with Zlatan Ibrahimović, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi joining the club and taking the new Qatari owners’ spending above £200M in just over a year.  With UEFA’s new financial fair play rules soon to come into effect the amounts being thrown around in Paris are simply untouchable by the majority of Europe’s top clubs.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson commented that he found it “quite amazing that a club can pay €45M for a 19-year-old boy,” and he believes UEFA need to act on the matter.  Ferguson, of course, has spent huge sums of money in the past, most notably on Rio Ferdinand, Juan Sebastian Veron and Wayne Rooney, but may well have seen the light last season when the mega-rich “noisy neighbours” stormed to their first Premier League title on the last day, at the expense of Ferguson’s side.

Moura made his debut for Sao Paulo just 2 years ago, making 25 appearances in the Campeonato Brasileiro.  He made a good impression, providing 4 assists and scoring 4 goals of his own.  He went on to become a regular starter in his second year with the first team – notching 13 in 28 appearances, and adding another 8 assists.

Despite his relative inexperience, he has made his mark on the international stage already – claiming a hat-trick in the Under-20 South American Championship Final and going on to make his full Brazil debut against Scotland in March 2011.  In September he grabbed his first senior goal in a game against bitter rivals Argentina.  He will be left disappointed with a Silver Medal from London 2012 but he has played a tremendous part in the Brazilian team’s quest for Olympic glory, and cemented his place in a squad which now sets its sights on a home World Cup in 2014.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been left frustrated in this summer’s transfer market, after finding himself outbid for yet another big name.  He had hoped the young Brazilian’s creative abilities might be the key to reclaiming the title from city rivals Man City.  Having been outbid for Eden Hazard and now Moura, and with so far failed attempts to bring Robin van Persie and Luca Modric to Old Trafford, Ferguson knows time is running out to strengthen his aging squad.

Meanwhile, Paris St Germain started the season without Moura on Saturday night, claiming a 2-2 draw with Lorient – both PSG’s goals coming from new star man Ibrahimović.

ANDREW DAVIDSON (Twitter @El_Andrew_Uno)


If you wish to read the rest of Issue Ten of WORLD FOOTBALL WEEKLY click link below…


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