Ferguson confirms Moura talks
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed his interest in Brazil starlet Lucas Moura as he attempts to strengthen his squad for the new season.
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However, the Scot has insisted no deal has been reached for the 19-year-old Sao Paulo winger amid reports that the clubs have reached a £26million agreement.
29. Lucas Moura
"We have shown an interest, but until such time we get a deal agreed, we can't say he's our player."
Sir Alex Ferguson
Speaking at a press conference in Shanghai on Monday, Ferguson said: "It's not correct. We haven't reached an agreement for the player.
"We have shown an interest, but until such time a we get a deal agreed, we can't say he's our player."
United have already boosted their squad this summer with the additions of 23-year-old Japan international midfielder Shinji Kagawa and teenager Nick Powell, a graduate of Crewe's famous Academy.
However, Ferguson is keen to secure further recruits and has revealed work is ongoing behind the scenes.
He said: "We've signed two players in the summer: Kagawa and Powell. We think they both have fantastic potential.
"At this moment, we're looking at other options in terms of bringing other players in.
"We're not lying on our backsides doing nothing. We're trying hard to bring other players to the club."
Lucas is currently in England with the Brazil squad ahead of the Olympic Games football tournament, and appeared as a substitute in Friday night's 2-0 win over Team GB at the Riverside Stadium.
Ferguson is keen to increase his options as he plans a fresh assault on reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City, although he believes Champions League winners Chelsea could also have a greater say in the destiny of the biggest domestic prize this time around.
The Blues have already added German midfielder Marko Marin and Belgian striker Eden Hazard to their armoury at huge expense, while Lucas' Brazil team-mate Oscar appears to be bound for Stamford Bridge in a £25million switch from Internacional.
The Scot said: "I think the owners have got their enthusiasm back. Having won the Champions League, there's more expectation on them now.
"That was the trophy Roman (Abramovich) always wanted to win, so he's invested in the team again this summer. It's a challenge for us, I suppose, and we always respect Chelsea. You just have to wait and see how good these players are."
United are in China ahead of Wednesday's friendly clash with Shanghai Shenhua, when they will come into contact with old foes Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.
Asked if he would have considered offering Drogba a change of scenery following his departure from Chelsea, he replied: "The decision was his anyway. He said he was going to leave Chelsea and not play again in England, so that eliminated everyone."
Defender Rio Ferdinand could find himself in much closer proximity to the pair, but the 33-year-old is thinking only of his preparations for the new campaign.
He said: "Obviously, there's been a lot of focus on Drogba and Anelka because of their decision to come out and play here.
"We're looking forward to playing Shanghai. It's a great game for both clubs.
"Shanghai get to see where they're at and the main focus for us is to get through the game unscathed and step up our fitness.
"There's a lot of interest because of Drogba and Anelka but for us, it's just another game. We want to continue with our fitness and integrate some more young players into the first-team."
Ferdinand's fitness will be of acute importance to his manager as he faces up to the possibility of starting the new season without either Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans, and with Chris Smalling facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a fractured metatarsal.
Ferguson said: "It's not 100 per cent Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic will start the season.
"Jonny will start running today. Vida and Phil Jones started full training today, which is very positive. If I can keep Rio fit, then Vidic and Jones should give us ample cover."