Ferguson, speaking here on Monday following
Although Sao Paulo vice-president João Paulo de Jesus Lopes went public earlier this month to place a prohibitive £62 million price tag on Lucas, it is understood that the Brazilian club are prepared to sell for £30 million-£35 million, rather than hold out for such an outlandish figure for the 19 year-old.
Real Madrid are also keen to sign Lucas, who played for Brazil’s
And while Ferguson dismissed claims from South America that a deal had been agreed between United and Sao Paulo, he admitted the club were trying to take the player to Old Trafford.
He said a deal had not been agreed. “We haven’t reached agreement for the player, but we have shown an interest. Until such time as we get an agreement agreed, we cannot say he is our player.”
With United having lodged bids for Lucas and Van Persie, the club are determined to add to their two summer signings to date, Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa.
United’s offer for Van Persie, in the region of £10 million, is understood to have been an opening bid to test Arsenal’s resolve and register their interest in Dutch forward and an increased offer of £15 million is likely at some stage.
With Arsenal holding out for £25 million, however, and Ferguson reluctant to go beyond £15 million, a compromise deal looks a distant prospect. But Ferguson insists that United are working overtime to add to their squad in time for the new season.
He said: “We’ve signed two players, Kagawa and Powell, and we think they have fantastic potential, but we are looking at other options to bring others in.
"We are not lying on our backside doing nothing. We are trying hard to bring players into the club.”
In United’s friendly against Shanghai Ferguson’s team will come face-to-face
again with Didier Drogba, the former
Ferguson expects Drogba’s previous employers to provide a sustained challenge for the title this season, but the Scot also admitted that he would have been interested in taking Drogba to United had he been given any encouragement at the end of last season.
“The decision was his [Drogba’s],” Ferguson said. “He said if he was going to leave Chelsea, he would not play for another club in England, so that answered the question – but I could’ve been interested.
“But in terms of Chelsea, I think the owners have got their enthusiasm back and, having won the Champions League, there's more expectation on them now. It’s a challenge for us, I suppose, and we always respect Chelsea.”