The 20-time English champions have yet to make a formal bid for the Brazilian but they have been in touch with his advisors over a significant period of time having originally targeted the player as a 19-year-old when he was still playing in his homeland with Sao Paulo. But after being outbid for his signature in 2012 by PSG, United continue to be admirers.
And after seeing their player restricted to just 72 minutes of Ligue 1 football this season, Lucas’ camp – led by agent Wagner Ribeiro – have begun the search for a Premier League club willing to end his PSG exile and reinvigorate his push for a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad.
Liverpool have no interest in the player, despite reports to the contrary, but United could be persuaded to make a move before the January window closes as they look to add to their faltering forward line.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s loss of form and the lack of pace and width available to Jose Mourinho on the right side of attack have persuaded the Portuguese manager that he may need to add to his stocks for the remainder of the season, and he recently named Lucas as one of the PSG stars being overlooked since the record-breaking summer arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
“What Paris Saint Germain did this season with Neymar and Mbappe, they got two of probably the four best attacking players in the world. They got two at the same time,” said Mourinho.
“And then players like Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Javier Pastore, Lucas… they are second choices. Money makes a difference.”
However, United are yet to make an official approach to the French side, with only Nantes having tabled an offer since Lucas’ rejection of an earlier bid by Beijing Gouan.
The 25-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract in Paris, with his current employers thought to be ready to accept a bid of close to €40 million for the player they paid around €50m for in the summer of 2012.