United target scores hat-trick in-front of scouts

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Manchester United are taking a closer look at Argentina's highly-rated Benfica winger Angel Di Maria.

Rated by Diego Maradona as a player with the potential to be better than Lionel Messi, Manchester United are reportedly ready to step up their interest after a rumoured January bid for the player was rejected.

Chelsea and Manchester City are also thought to have made bids for the player in the region of £32 million during the winter transfer window, although the Portuguese side managed to keep hold of their prized asset.

It is United who are rumoured to be leading the chase from Premier League sides though, and a scout was sent to watch the 22-year-old as Encarnados faced Leixoes. They will have left with a glowing reference after Di Maria bagged a hat-trick in the Portuguese Liga fixture.

The offensive wide man made the switch to the Portuguese giants in 2007 from Rosario Central, and is closing in on 100 appearances for the side from the Estádio da Luz.

An Argentine international after representing his country at U20 and U23 level, Di Maria has gone on to make 7 senior appearances since his debut in 2008.

Juventus have also been heavily linked with the player after fresh reports surfaced in the Italian media.

Expected to be a star at the 2010 World Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson could face stiff competition from a number of clubs in a bid to land the exciting youngster.

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