Liverpool challenge United for 'next Rio Ferdinand'

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Liverpool are reportedly interested in the summer acquisition of Vasco da Gama defender Dede, who is also being pursued by Manchester United.

The 23-year-old centre-back has made two international appearances for Brazil and continues to impress with numerous composed displays at the heart of the Vasco defence.

Manchester United initially appeared to be frontrunners to sign Dede, who has been likened to Rio Ferdinand, and Sir Alex Ferguson was reported to have entrusted Jaap Stam to compile a scouting report on the Brazilian youngster.

However, according to the Daily Mail, the Old Trafford club have been joined in the pursuit of Dede by bitter rivals Liverpool, and Kenny Dalglish may now launch a summer move for his services.

Liverpool have also been scouting Dede, and Anfield club's South American expert Diego Caniggia watched him against Allianza Lima.

Dede is a native of the same area of Rio de Janiero that was home to Manchester United twins Fabio and Rafael da Silva, and their influence may decide the future destination of their compatriot.

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