Exclusive: Man United Ready to Launch £35m Bid for French International Centre-Back

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United want Porto’s Mangala as Vidic and Evra prepare to leave.

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FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala has emerged as transfer target for Manchester United as they look to beat rivals Manchester City to a £35m deal, CaughtOffside can reveal.

The Red Devils are desperately looking to find replacements for the departing Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra and Mangala could fill both roles.

The Frenchman generally operates at centre-back, but also has the capability to play at left-back as well and is quickly earning a brilliant reputation in European football.

Porto understandably don’t want to part with the 22-year-old and have slapped a £41m price-tag on the defensive ace as a result, but United are hoping they can convince the Portuguese champions to except less.

City have also shown interest in Mangala in recent times as they too want to strengthen at the back, but David Moyes and Ed Woodward are going to make their move early.

The duo learned the hard way in the summer of 2013 that hesitating in the transfer market is costly, as the Premier League champions missed out on all of their main targets – Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera – and eventually had to settle for the £27.5m arrival of Marouane Fellaini from Everton.

However, after 12 months experience at Old Trafford and with the knowledge that they can attract talent like Juan Mata to the club, both Moyes and Woodward are feeling more confident.

Mangala has been with Porto since 2011 after making the switch from Standard Liege and has won two Primeira Liga titles and played 76 times for the club since then.

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