A trio of Brazilian starlets reported to be heading to Manchester United appear to be out of their reach.
Manchester United's link up with Brazilian developmental side Desportivo Brasil was supposed to finally bear results this summer, with highly rated youngsters heading to Old Trafford to join the pre-season squad.
That was the plan at least, with it reported by the Mail that teenager Wellington Bueno, an attacking midfielder compared to Kaka, would be invited on tour.
Now United have already begun their pre-season without all three, and it appears now that they could miss out on the signings of the trio altogether, and in one case they already have.
Wellington Bueno signed for side Anderlecht at the end of last month as this report suggested he would, and has updated his Twitter page accordingly, with his profile now stating he represents the Belgian champions.
Last night it also emerged that Bruno Gomes, a striker who scored seven goals in one game in April, would also not be moving to Old Trafford, despite his clear admiration for the club, regularly interacting with fans of the Red Devils on Twitter, and declaring his ambition to become the first Brazilian top scorer in the Premier League with the club.
After tweeting cryptically that he would be 'heading for another path', Manchester United fans blog The People's Person, published an interview with his agent, stating that the deal was off.
Alexis Malavolta, Gomes' agent, said: “Manchester United and Bruno Gomes did not reach an agreement and he will no longer go to Manchester,” he confirmed.
“He is very upset because he was focused on playing in 2014 for United. Manchester also has a stake in the economic rights B9 but released him to deal with another club.”
The deal for the third player who came over to Old Trafford with the duo to visit the facilities and meet the staff before heading back to Brazil, is still uncertain.
It remains unclear as to whether United will pursue their interest in Lucas Evangelista. The midfielder has signed a loan deal with Sao Paolo and recently been promoted into their first team squad.
What will happen when his loan expires in 2014 is unclear, but given the fact United dropped their interest in Bueno and Gomes it would not be a surprise if the same fate befell him.
Deals for all three had been long-term projects, with them visiting Old Trafford in spring 2012, and at present they are all performing at a high level in their respective careers.
A change of management at board level, with Edward Woodward replacing David Gill, and at management level, Sir Alex Ferguson replaced by David Moyes, could certainly have had some effect, with Ferguson having met the trio personally and knowing of each of their potential.
If any of the three go onto become superstars, or even just one of them, missing out after they were well placed to snap them up for cut-down prices next summer could end up being disastrous.
Are you disappointed United have taken their eye off the ball on this one?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald