Sir Alex Ferguson is no midfield mug.
He would like to play 4-4-2 to unleash the attacking prowess he has on his bench, but might well be forced to play 4-5-1 to keep from being over-run in midfield. Especially against the likes of Manchester City.
Yet, he knows, just as every mug on the Stretford End at Old Trafford last season knows as well, Manchester United were mugged out of the title in midfield last season.
This is why the signing of Brazilian wonderkid Moura will matter less to United’s plans for next season, than the signing of Portuguese midfield virtuoso Joao Moutinho.
British media had differing reports on the news from Brazil with speculation spread out between ‘done deal’ and ‘anything, but done’.
Given that Fergie has resisted the charms of a “big hit-man” upfront, it is clear that while Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney will keep defences on their toes with their tricky runs and no-look through balls, the attacking intent from midfield must be just as potent.
Shinji Kagawa, Nick Powell and Tom Cleverley will all be expected to repay Fergie’s faith in them, however, with Darren Fletcher out and the Scholes-Giggsy pairing a year older, United have to have a man at the heart of it all for the near future.
Moutinho came out of the Euro 2012 tournament as one of the finest play-makers in Europe, him being a key in Portugal reaching the semifinals and only losing to Spain on penalties.
Fergie will have to battle hard for Moutinho with new Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas said to have made the 25-year-old his top target.
Porto are reported to want £30 million for him.
Which, when you consider that United are willing to pay £25million for Moura, might still be worth the deal.
United are reported to considering throwing Anderson in to sweeten the deal for Sao Paulo on Moura.
Why not throw Nani in to sweeten the deal for Porto?
After all Moutninho, Kagawa, Valencia, Carrick makes for midfield that any mug would envy.. and fear.