Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly been having the 23-year-old watched by former Red Devils defender Jaap Stam with a view to a transfer when the transfer window reopens.
Dede’s current clubs, Vasco da Gama, are having serious financial difficulties and United have the resources to make them an extremely tempting offer.
The report claims that the newly capped Brazil international is considered by many in the country to be the most promising young player after Barcelona and Real Madrid target Neymar.
Standing at 6ft 3in the defender has the physique to be able to handle the rigours of the Premier League, as well as having exceptional heading ability.
However, United will have to fight off the advances of Portuguese club Benfica, who are also thought to be monitoring Dede’s availability.