Arsenal dealt decisive blow in United target chase - reports

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Arsenal and Manchester United are set to miss out on midfielder Steven Defour.

The Belgian international has been heavily linked with a move to England this summer, with both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger thought to be keen on the 23-year-old.

Interest from the Red Devils stems back over three years, with Ferguson writing a letter to Defour after the player broke his foot in 2009 stating that Manchester United would continue to monitor his progress and recovery.

He would later confirm that the Old Trafford outfit were still watching him, telling talkSPORT in October that Manchester United could make a move in either January or the summer.

"I do know that Manchester United are monitoring me - if everything goes well and I continue playing as I am, there is a better chance of me leaving than there was at the start of the season."

Arsenal were also reportedly keen on the former Racing Genk starlet, who moved to Liege in 2006 and has made over 150 appearances for the club.

Wenger is keen to strengthen his Gunners squad in a variety of positions this summer, and stated in May that he would be spending in the transfer window should the 'right' player become available to Arsenal.

Despite bringing Gervinho to the Emirates, a midfielder could still be a high priority given the uncertainty over the future of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri at Arsenal.


However, it appears Arsenal will fail if they attempt to pursue Defour, with SkySports reporting that the player is close to agreeing a move to Lokomotiv Moscow and snubbing a move to England.

The news will also end the interest of Manchester United, with the player one of a handful in the position linked with a move to Old Trafford as a potential Paul Scholes successor.

With Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea already moving to the Red Devils this summer, Ferguson has been busy in the transfer market in the opening month of activity, but will not be adding Defour to the Manchester United ranks.

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