Before all of the Moura nonsense, I wasn't that far out as Team GB crashed out on penalties against South Korea. Reports before the game were that England had practiced penalties extensively, but what a waste of time that proved to be. You can practice technique, but as a multi millionaire footballer that should be a given. You can never simulate the pressure, but you could at least have a look at how the Koreans take penalties, and how their goalkeeper handles penalties. At the end of the day we could not hope to be inspired by a man who is probably more famous for missing a penalty at Italia 90 than anything else, and of course Daniel Sturridge has as his inspirational club captain none other than John Terry, and we all know what happens when he takes a spot kick. Maybe the Koreans just wanted it more, after all, they have been promised two years exemption from National Service if they win gold. Maybe our boys should be threatened with two years National Service if they fail to perform.
So, it all rather exploded on Sunday as the Mail claimed that United had agreed a deal to sign Moura, that he was travelling to Old Trafford from the Brazil game at Newcastle to have a medical, and that Sir Alex had not travelled with United to Valerenga as he was concluding the deal. Now, I have little or no respect for newspapers, they have very little accountaility, and if they link Moura with enough clubs they are bound to get it right eventually, but they really should behave with more responsibility, and certainly with more accuracy. The Mail online is now reporting a last minute bid by PSG to hijack the deal, with other reports suggesting that deal has already been done. The rationale seems to be that Leonardo is the sporting director at PSG and they have money to burn. But they also have a problem in that they already have their full quota of non European players, so someone will have to go before Moura signs. One of their overseas players, Thiago Silva, is reported to have recommended PSG to Moura, even though he has not turned up there yet, and this is the same Thiago Silva that was reported to be recommending United to Moura two weeks ago. Still with it? The latest addition is that Moura has been told that Manchester is boring compared to Paris, and at least one source has attrbuted this to another of his agent's clients, Robinho. Sorry Mr Robinho, life's certainly not boring in the other half of Manchester! Meanwhile, the Brazilian football federation have confirmed that Moura will not be allowed to leave the Brazilian Olympic squad for a medical. Maybe the Mail's Bob Cass should have a chat with the Mail's Ashley Gray so that they can get their story straight, or maybe they should just wait until after the Olympics when Moura's future will almost certainly be decided.
News from pre season is negative in that we were held to a 0-0 draw by Valerenga, but positive in terms of Vidic playing 60 minutes after 8 months out. I don't take much notice of pre season friendlies, I was mainly watching the Olympics yesterday, and the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson didn't bother to travel reinforces this, although according to Twitter he must have been doing something very important to miss this crucial pre season warm up! Next up is Barcelona, and I expect a very competitive game with Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline, but at the end of the day it still means absolutely nothing.
Expect news of Moura signing for Real Madrid later today!!!! (thats a joke - not a rumour)
At the same time as the Moura rumour mill (Moura is now officially the summer's biggest transfer saga, eclipsing RVP, Modric and Carroll), it was also rumoured that we have agreed a deal for RVP. Another reason that Sir Alex missed the Valerenga game? Probably not, although we may not have to wait until the end of the Olympics for RVPs future to be decided.
In other pre season news, Ipswich beat West Ham, Nottingham Forest beat Aston Villa and Portsmouth beat Bolton. Are the fans of the losing clubs bothered? Perhaps, but they shouldn't be. Its pre-season!