Manchester United, it seems, have a penchant for the comic as well as for the dramatic (the drama is normally induced by some staggering ineptitude, but drama remains) when it comes to the transfer window and it appears as the club and David Moyes have decided to step it up a notch this month.
The United manager clocked up enough airmiles in recent weeks to grant himself a life worth of discounted flights, as him and members of his staff flew around Europe to scout different targets which may or may not arrive (the latter is alarmingly probably than the former).
Moyes was spotted in Cagliari on Sunday, allegedly to keep an eye on Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio or just about any midfielder who could do what Tom Cleverley and Anderson can’t (spoiler alert: the category includes a large number of midfielders), before setting off for Bordeaux on Tuesday night, as the local side took on PSG.
Unless Moyes has always kept a secret of his love for French baguettes, expensive red wines and artisan patisserie, he must have been tracking either a Bordeaux or a PSG player, clubs with which United hadn’t been linked yet. So, who was the United manager keeping an eye on in the French city?
Well, but of course, no one else if not our fling from the summer of 2012. That Lucas Moura who teased us and got our hopes up before deciding that sipping a cafe by the Eiffel Tower was an altogether better proposition than drinking a pint of ale in Piccadilly Gardens (your loss, pal) and moved to PSG for £37m, prompting Fergie to declare that “the world had gone mad” if clubs were prepared to fork out that amount of money on an 18-year-old.
Moura had impressed at the London Olympics and many felt he would have represented a fantastic coup, but United’s decision not to enter a bidding war with a club with unlimited financial resources was probably a sensible one, particularly as we consoled ourselves with RVP’s arrival a few weeks later.
Things, however, haven’t worked out too well at the Parc des Princes for the Brazilian, who only played 14 games in all competition since arriving in January last season (he completed the move only in January, even though the deal was sealed in August) before forcing his way back into the first team reckoning this season, with 18 league appearances over which he racked up three goals and six assists.
The “Moura to United” rumour was first spread by the Daily Star, a paper reliable only in its incapacity of being reliable and has since been picked upon by other sources and publications, which gleefully ignore the fact that, even if PSG wanted to sell Moura, they’d be determined to recoup almost all of the £37m they shelled out last year.
Other sources yesterday reported that David Moyes might have been scouting Javier Pastore, the first of PSG’s marquee signings and one of the many to have fallen down the pecking order, obliterated into the black hole that dwarfs everything non-Zlatan at PSG.
The Argentinian is undoubtedly a classy player, albeit not worth the £36m PSG paid to Palermo in 2011, and has been linked with United before so, in that respect, a move for him would make more sense than a move for Moura.
Perhaps, however, we should simply accept the fact that Moyes fancied a nice glass of red and some delicacy cheeses.