Failure to sign young Brazilian forward is one of Manchester United’s more perplexing transfer decisions over the last year, but is somebody better around the corner?
It isn’t every day a striker scores seven goals in a game, but that is exactly what Brazilian wonderkid Bruno Gomes did for his club earlier this year.
Fortunately for Manchester United, they already had a deal lined up for the striker, who had visited Old Trafford and met with Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Mail even reported in the Spring that Gomes could be invited on the club’s pre-season tour, along with two others at Desportivo Brasil, the club United have a partnership agreement with.
United appeared to cool their interest in Gomes after Ferguson’s retirement, and this week the teenager signed a deal with Internacional, where he will play alongside former Red Devil Diego Forlan.
Quite why they did so remains a mystery, but could it be that they believe a better Brazilian striker could be a more promising bet?
Step forward the superbly named Mosquito.
Reports overnight by The Mirror claim that Manchester United are showing an interest in the teenage sensation, rivalling Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrid in the race for his signature.
Mosquito shot to prominence over the FIFA under-17 World Cup this Autumn, scoring four goals in five games.
He turns 18 on January 6, and will subsequently under Brazilian regulations be permitted to clinch a move overseas.
Simply the fact he was selected as Brazil’s main striker at the tournament, with Gomes not part of the squad, illustrates that he currently a more advanced prospect.
A year older, Mosquito has been part of the Atletico Paranaense youth set up for the past season, while Gomes has only been playing with developmental side Desportivo Brasil.
Both are outstanding prospects, but Mosquito is one the club could sign just next month, and his under-17 World Cup exploits have put him on the map.
Missing out on Gomes is a disappointment, but if United end up snapping up Mosquito then the loss may not sting quite as badly – and could show the Red Devils had their reasons to let him move elsewhere.
image: © Crystian Cruz