Atletico Madrid Offer Starlet New Deal As Manchester United Interest Intensifies

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La Liga giants hope to ward off United by offering a new contract to defender Jose Maria Gimenez.

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La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have offered a new contract to defensive starlet Jose Maria Gimenez in an attempt to fend off interest from Manchester United, according to reports from the Mirror.

The teenage centre back put together three consecutive fine performances for Uruguay at the 2014 FIFA World Cup as he replaced captain Diego Lugano, making the £19.2 million release clause in his contract possible something of a bargain.

Diego Simeone and Atletico have moved quickly to offer Jimenez a new five-year contract at the Vicente Calderon, possibly trebling the young Uruguayan’s wages.

The deal would also raise his release clause to £33m, a fee that would be likely to end the interest from United and also Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint Germain, who see Jimenez as a possible replacement for Barcelona-bound Marquinhos.

United are reportedly close to sealing a deal for Feyenoord centre back Stefan de Vrij, but with both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand having left on free transfers this summer and Phil Jones and Chris Smalling far from being convincing, it is likely that more than just the Dutch international will be arriving in that area of the pitch.

Whether Louis van Gaal would be willing to spend such a significant sum on a largely unproven player in Jimenez remains to be seen, but with another talented youngster being on their radar it certainly goes to confirm United’s likely summer transfer policy.

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