Quick links

Manchester United

Manchester United target Everton Ribeiro not enjoying the best of times

Reported Manchester United target Everton Ribeiro is not in the best of form as his side competes in the Copa Libertadores.

At the end of last year, Manchester United were linked with Everton Ribeiro, a Brazilian play-maker currently on the books at Cruzeiro.

It was a somewhat surprising link, but one that quickly grew, the rumours increased by the player’s apparent willingness to speak about his future.

His agent would later claim that there were offers from two English sides on the table, before reports in Brazil claimed Shakhtar Donetsk had attempted to add to their Brazilian contingent by making a €10million offer.

And then, with the transfer window closed, Ribeiro slipped off the radar completely. While United continue to be linked to the likes of William Carvalho and a whole host of potential new defenders, Ribeiro has not found his way into the rumour mill for weeks.

So what exactly has he been up to?

Well, just as he promised when he spoke two months ago, he is focusing on the Copa Libertadores, in which Cruzeiro have been competing since the end of February.

But despite starting all three matches to date, Ribeiro has failed to have the same impact that got him noticed in his homeland, where he scored six goals and set up another eight last season.

In his side’s opening match of the competition against Real Garcilaso, they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.  Then followed a 5-1 victory over Universidad de Chile.  But while Ribeiro played 78 minutes of that match, he failed to get on the score-sheet or set up any of his teammates' strikes.

Then followed a 2-0 defeat against Defensor Sporting, where Ribeiro's only contribution of note was to get booked.

That defeat left Cruzeiro three points behind in the race to qualify for the knockout rounds, and they will no doubt be hoping Ribeiro can rediscover his form when the two sides meet again later this month.  After all, to date the player has had just one shot on target in three appearances.

If United maintain, or indeed ever had, a valid interest in the 24-year-old, he may still have some way to go to prove he is what they need.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch