MANCHESTER UNITED are set to go head-to-head with local rivals City in an transfer battle over £53million Juventus star Joao Cancelo, according to reports in Italy.
The 24-year-old only joined the Serie A champions last summer from Valencia in a £35 million deal following a successful loan stint at Inter Milan.
The Portuguese defender has made 34 appearances for the Old Lady this season, but has been unable to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.
The right-back failed to impress axed manager Massimiliano Allegri, and Juve are open to selling him if their new boss deems him surplus to requirements, per TuttoSport.
United are said to have scouted the former Benfica ace during Juventus’ win at Napoli in March and were believed to be readying a £42m bid earlier this month.
And they were hoping to use Matteo Darmian as bait in exchange to try and lower the asking price, however, the Allianz Stadium club will only be tempted by a cash offer.
DO THE CAN-CAN
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to bolster his defence following a miserable campaign and has been eyeing Cancelo as the man to replace Antonio Valencia.
However, their local rivals City are still considered favourites for Cancelo’s signature, with Pep Guardiola looking to bolster his options despite achieving a domestic treble.
Kyle Walker has performed admirably in the right-back role under the Spaniard, but with Danilo likely to leave, that frees up room for the Citizens to strengthen their squad.
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And he could soon be joined by Atletico Madrid anchorman Rodri, with City locked in a three-way battle for the £65m man with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Guardiola will also need a new centre-back to replace Vincent Kompany and will once again rival United after targeting Leicester’s England star Harry Maguire.
But one man set to depart is Leroy Sane, who is closing in on a move to Munich, with contract talks stumbling after he tumbled down the pecking order at the Etihad.