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Manchester United and Chelsea face transfer competition for Brazil international and La Liga star

AC Milan have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Atletico Madrid star Miranda this summer, reports the Daily Star.

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The Premier League duo are both interested in the Brazil international as they look to bolster their defensive options ahead of the the Champions League.

Next season will be the Red Devils’ first in the competition under Louis van Gaal, who led them to fourth in the top flight last time round. Meanwhile the Blues were knocked out by Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 in the last edition, a disappointing result considering their complete domination domestically.

Milan, by contrast, are not in Europe’s premier club competition next season, but this could actually be an advantage when Atletico come to choosing Miranda’s next destination. Diego Simeone is believed to be keen to sell to someone who isn’t going to be one of his side’s rivals in Europe, and the Rossoneri fit the bill according to the Daily Star.

This comes 12 months after they sold both Diego Costa and Filipe Luis to the Stamford Bridge outfit.

However, it is unknown whether Miranda-who is out of contract next summer-would be happy taking a step down to a side not in European competition.

The 30-year-old played 36 timed for the Rojiblancos in the last campaign, helping them to third in La Liga and the quarter finals of the Champions League. Being an accomplished performer on Europe’s biggest stage, it remains to be seen whether Miranda would accept a move to Milan, who finished 10th in Serie A this season and are enduring a fallow period.

Van Gaal will be especially happy as the Red Devils’ defence looked shaky throughout the last campaign. They relied heavily on goalkeeper David De Gea to stop them from conceding, and the 63-year-old switched between three and four man back lines in order to try and fix the problem. They ultimately conceded five goals more than champions Chelsea.

Moreover there are currently only three natural centre-backs at Old Trafford in Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Jonny Evans. Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind both featured there last season but are more suited to playing at left-back. This could be just two natural centre-backs soon as Evans has been linked with a move to Everton by the Daily Mirror, which would further increase van Gaal’s need to turn to fresh faces.

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