Sir Alex Ferguson is gearing up for a transfer battle with Real Madrid according to the Mirror after it emerged the Spaniards are keen to sign Sao Paulo attacking midfielder Lucas.
The Manchester United boss has kept tabs on the 19-year-old for some time and is desperate to capture his signature during the summer. United Officials are ready to pull out all the stops to sign him and have already invited the players father to Old Trafford for talks in an attempt to persuade him that United is the best environment for the teenager to realise his potential.
Ferguson is anxious to sign a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes and had hopes of completing the deal as soon as possible before the midfielders price increased. The 70-year-old also wants to avoid another long drawn out transfer saga that hampered his pursuit of Wesley Sneijder last year.
However old nemesis Jose Mourinho may have thrown a spanner into the works after it was revealed he is already in discussions with Lucas’ representatives. The self titles ‘Special One’ is desperately trying to convince them that a move to the Bernabeu is the best option for a player who has already clocked up 70 games for Sao Paulo since making his debut 18-months ago.
One thing the Madrid manager won’t be able to offer is guaranteed involvement in the first team which is something Ferguson can promise and hopes it will be enough to lure the talented Brazilian into choosing the Red Devils over their Spanish counterparts.
Whoever wins he race to sign Lucas will have to shell out £12 million for the supremely skilled midfielder who has already won 11 caps for his country and been labelled as the net best thing since Neymar to come out of his homeland.