Sao Paulo are the latest club to end their interest in signing Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain with reports in Brazil claiming the winger is only negotiating with Manchester United.
Moura has been told he is free to leave PSG during the January transfer window having failed to make a single league appearance for the club in the league following the summer arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The Brazil international, eager to find a club that will afford him the first-team chances he needs to ensure he is selected for this summer's World Cup, has already turned down an offer to stay in France and join Nantes. Le Parisien reported on Tuesday [9 January] that the 25-year-old now feels a move to any other club in France would represent a step backwards, and for now is only considering a move to United.
Sao Paulo, the club where Moura honed a reputation as one of the game's brightest young talents before leaving for PSG in 2013, had been monitoring the situation. Globo Esporte report the club were keen on a move to bring the player back home as long as there was a "remote possibility" of the deal happening.
But according to the Brazilian publication, their sources from within Sao Paulo are now convinced Moura is on his way to Manchester.
There is one major stumbling block however with United said to be only interested in taking the player on loan – with PSG determined to offload the player on a permanent basis this month.
Globo Esporte claim the deal could be done for €25m (£22m, $30m) despite reports from Le Parisien this week stating PSG are holding out for €40m – a hefty fee given Moura is firmly on the periphery of Unai Emery's squad and who only has 18 months remaining on his contract at Parc de Princes.
But after spending £202m on Neymar and with an obligation to pay £166m for Mbappe next summer, PSG face the possibility of Uefa sanctions unless they can cash in on the fringe members of their squad. Reports at the end of 2017 claimed the club must raise €75m by the end of the season to meet Financial Fair Play targets, with Angel di Maria, Hatem Ben Arfa and Javier Pastore all said to be up for sale this month.