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United close in on Lucas Moura deal

Sao Paulo midfielder Lucas Moura appears to be moving closer to a £30 million switch to Manchester United after an official from the Brazilian club mocked a 'ridiculous' offer from Inter Milan.

Lucas, 19, said on Monday that he was open to a move to Europe and United have sent a delegation to Brazil to begin talks.

His father, who is also his agent, has had a meeting with Inter Milan about a possible transfer, although Sao Paulo director of football Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes has poked fun at the Italian club's interest.

"How can you pay €25 million (£20 million) for a player of Lucas's quality?" Jesus Lopes is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. "There is no (formal) offer and, even if it were to appear, this amount is ridiculous.

"Italian football is broke - the club (Inter) are broke. It seems they are creating this to satisfy the fans."

Attacking midfielder Lucas is attracting an increasing amount of interest from European clubs. Chelsea have already had a bid - reported to be £32 million - turned down, but United are hopeful that they can seal a transfer before Lucas comes to London to play for Brazil at the Olympics.

"You never know what can happen," Lucas said about a possible move. "I don't have a crazy desire to leave but, when the time comes, I will speak with my family and decide what is best for my future.

"Of course I think about it, but I can't let it go to my head. I'm very calm and down to earth about it. My job is to play football so that these clubs continue to be interested."

Lucas said he "cannot guarantee" that he will stay at Sao Paulo until the end of his contract, adding: "I know my father ... had a meeting [with Inter Milan], but I don't know what was said. Now I will go to the Olympics with my mind only on winning a gold medal."

The Inter president Massimo Moratti said his club hoped to complete the signing, but admitted: "I don't know if it's a hope or more a target to keep tabs on, considering the times we're in."

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