Manchester United could soon turn to Everton. But before the conspiracy theorists get carried away, United aren’t planning to hire yet more members of David Moyes’ former staff at Goodison Park, nor are they planning to swap Adnan Januzaj for Leon Osman.
Instead, United are said to be considering a January move for Brazilian striker Everton Ribeiro, whose name alone is granted to generate widespread irony given the circumstances that have surrounded Moyes and United since the Scotsman replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old has impressed in his first season for Cruzeiro, scoring five times and assisting eight goals and has publicly spoken of dreaming to move to Manchester United in an interview with a Brazilian TV, which has today been reported by some newspapers on British shores.
“I will continue doing my job here at Cruzeiro but plan on getting to a big club, it’s a dream I’ve had since I was young, I’ve always liked Manchester United,” the Cruzeiro striker told Brazilian Sportv.
Having scored 43 times throughout various spells with Corinthians, Sao Caetano and Coritiba, the former Brazil U20 international was one of Cruzeiro’s best players as they secured the league title this season and his performances have attracted interest from a host of European clubs, including Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers seemingly not worried by the Brazilian’s name.
With the Brazilian season coming to an end, Cruzeiro could be willing to part ways with their man for a fee believed to be around £6.7m, even though Ribeiro is yet to formally ask for a transfer.
“I haven’t talked with my agent yet,” continued Ribeiro. “I asked him to talk only with Cruzeiro and let me focus here as I still have one more game to play and I want to end this league well.”
However, talented though Ribeiro might be, there are a couple of factors to consider. First and foremost, if United are willing to spend in January, the striking department is the last Moyes should invest in, with bigger and more serious problems in other areas to the pitch waiting to be addressed.
Secondly, with the exception of Rafael, United have an astonishing poor record with Brazilian players, whether signed from Brazil – Kleberson – or from other European clubs – Anderson – and spending around £7m on a largely unproven player could represent a huge gamble, one that United can’t afford in their position.
Ribeiro might well turn out to be a quality player, but just imagine the fans’ reaction were Moyes to sign a player called Everton. Perish the thought.