Man United set to rival Chelsea for £20million-rated Brazil defender and La Liga star

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Chelsea’s plans to sign Brazilian defender Joao Miranda could be hijacked by Premier League rivals Manchester United according to reports in Express Sport.

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The Atletico Madrid man has lost his place at the heart of defence to youngster Jose Giminez is the past year and he has been reportedly told he can leave the 2013-14 La Liga champions this summer.

This has alerted Blues boss Jose Mourinho to the 30-year-old’s availability as he looks to strengthen the defensive department at Stamford Bridge ahead of the new season.

Mourinho was thought to be preparing a £20 million offer for Miranda to provide competition and cover for captain John Terry [via Telegraph Sport], however it would appear Man United have plans to scupper the deal.

Louis van Gaal is expected to be busy in the transfer window and a new centre-half is thought to be at the top of his priority list.

Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi has been strongly linked with a switch to Old Trafford in recent days with reports in Daily Star Sport claiming that a fee has been agreed.

Miranda could be seen as a back-up option for United, although the possibility of bringing in two new central defenders can’t be ruled out due to the Red Devils’ perceived deficiency in that area of the pitch.

Van Gaal has also been linked to the likes of Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund [TalkSPORT].

Serie A giants Inter Milan and Napoil are also interested in the Brazilian [via Calcio Mercato], who made 23 league appearances for Atletico last season and found the back of the net on three occasions.

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