Manchester United And Liverpool Fight For £10m Defender

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross could be on his way back to Old Trafford.

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Manchester United have reignited their interest in former defender Ryan Shawcross.

United’s chief scout Jim Lawlor checked on the Stoke skipper in the 2-2 draw at Wigan on Saturday.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is considering bolstering his defensive options after seeing his second-string backline torn apart by West Ham in the Carling Cup last week.

And Shawcross is in the frame for a return to the club he quit in 2007 to join Stoke.

Ferguson was reluctant to let the 23-year-old move and inserted a clause in the deal which allows the Reds to match any rival bid if Shawcross is sold.

Liverpool are among the clubs who are also believed to be keen on him.

The defender may hesitate about heading back to Old Trafford, having pushed himself to the fringes of the England squad with regular first-team football at Stoke. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United have already replaced Rio Ferdinand, with Chris Smalling already putting in some impressive performances at the back as the heir of the cultured centre half role.

In the more agricultural position next to Smalling though, Nemanja Vidic will not go on forever, but Jonny Evans looks less and less like a Manchester United defender with each performance.

Man Utd have first option on the signing of Ryan Shawcross, as part of the deal when they sold him to Stoke.

With the Glazers promising Sir Alex Ferguson £100m with which to strengthen the squad as demonstration of their commitment to the club, Shawcross could be one of the first names on the list of targets.

Whether he would be prepared to give up his place as a first choice centre back – and captain – for a backup role, remains to be seen.

He would be more likely to achieve that at Liverpool, but they will have to move fast if they are to secure Shawcross ahead of their arch rivals.

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More Stories Chris Smalling jonny evans Liverpool FC Manchester United FC Nemanja Vidic rio ferdinand Ryan Shawcross Stoke City FC