A Brazil sensation who Sir Alex Ferguson is reported to be closely monitoring has rejected an approach by Manchester City implying that he sees them as nothing more than a bunch of wannabes. 20 year old Santos midfield star Paulo Henrique Ganso did not beat around the bush when he announced that “I don’t want to play for Manchester City, I’d prefer to play for a big club”
City had insisted on first refusals for Ganso and fellow Brazilian starlet Neymar when they agreed to let Robinho go to Sao Paolo on loan in January but the deal look certain to be scuppered now that the youngster has made it clear that he does not regard City as being in the same class as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United or either of the Milan clubs. It came as no surprise that shortly after the Brazil Under 20 international made his comments, Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro banned anyone else from talking about the deal.
The news will come as a blow for chief executive Garry Cook’s plans of transforming the Eastlands club into the “biggest and best in the world” as he promised a New York fans’ forum earlier this year. Ganso was listed in Brazil boss Dunga’s provisional 30 man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and if he were to make the final cut he could be an important alternative in midfield.
Goose, as he is popularly known, has been dreaming about scoring a goal at the World Cup even though the Santos star hasn’t yet realized his dream of making the Brazil squad for the tournament. Dunga has put him on standby meaning that he could be called into the 23 man squad in case of injury but being a longshot hasn’t dimmed Ganso’s imagination. “I dreamed that I was scoring a goal at the World Cup” he said in a newspaper interview “I don’t know if it was in the final, all I remember is that I was on the field playing for Brazil and scoring a goal.”
The combination of Robinnho, Ganso and Neymar scored more than 100 goals in 30 matches for Santos this season but Dunga says that while both the youngsters are “extremely talented” they have not been tested sufficiently on the international level to earn a World Cup spot.
Sócrates, who himself was part of the 1982 Brazilian squad often hailed as the greatest football team ever, has taken his admiration to an extreme. In the opinion of this football idol “Ganso is the greatest revelation Brazil has produced in the last decade, “If Santos can hold on to him they will have a monster team until he stops playing” he said. “They can sell the whole team but keep him because he makes the team play”
If Ganso is to ever end up at Old Trafford, Ferguson will have to use all of his guile and powers of persuation to beat the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid to get his signature. At this stage of his career the young midfielder intends to remain at Santos but if he were to receive a lucrative offer he would have no hesitation in packing his bags.
His brother Julio Chagas de Lima affirmed that he has received several proposals and that Ganso would be interested in playing in Europe. Real Madrid are looking for a permanent replacement for midfielder Guti and apparently believe the Brazilian could be just the player they need. As Lima observes “Real have the money” which could well translate into Madrid being the likely destination of the player next season.
Only time will tell whether Sir Alex can succeed in delivering Ganso to Manchester. The only certainty is that unless the youngster has a dramatic change of heart, it will definately not be to “the little club” at Eastlands.
Should Sir Alex make a determined attempt to sign the Brazilian?