Italian club Inter Milan have reportedly come closest, so far, to signing in-demand midfielder Lucas Moura. The 19 year old Brazilian was linked strongly with Manchester United earlier. Real Madrid were also credited with an interest.

It now appears, a report on ESPN suggests, the former Italian champions have agreed to meet Sao Paulo's valuation of the player - reportedly around €27m (approximately £21m). The fee could rise to €32m (£26m) depending on clauses.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has been quoted as saying his club would not be held to ransom over the transfer but did confirm club director Marco Branca was talking to Sao Paolo over the transfer fee.

"As you know we are strongly interested in the guy. But our interest does not compel us to accept every kind of condition imposed," Moratti stated.

The youngster managed 14 goals in 59 appearances for his club last season and is presently with the national team, competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Brazil are set to play a quarter final with Honduras, at St James' Park on 4 August.

Lucas Moura
Inter Milan close in getting Manchester United target Lucas Moura Reuters

Meanwhile, the potential loss of Moura to Inter aside, the Red Devils expect to spend a further £40m this summer, Michael Bolingbroke, the club's chief operating officer, indicated when advising investors ahead of United's IPO.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already overseen the arrival of two players - Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa (£17m from Borussia Dortmund) and teenager Nick Powell (for £4m from Crewe Alexandria). The 70 year old Scot, by Bolingbroke's estimate therefore, still has close to £20m to spend.

United have sold South Korean midfielder Ji-Sung Park to QPR, for an undisclosed amount, and the potential sale of Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov could add to the amount of money Ferguson has at his disposal.

Finally, Ferguson has confirmed the Red Devils' captain, Nemanja Vidic, will finally make his comeback from injury. The Serbian defender missed United's pre-season tour of China and South Africa but will travel with the squad to Norway. This will be good news for the manager, given that both Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are also out injured.