Football

Five-way Prem fight for £12.5m striker

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Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham are all chasing 21-year-old rising Dutch star Luuk de Jong, reports the Sunday Mirror.

The FC Twente striker has scored an impressive 32 goals this season, and having impressed in the Eredivisie, has attracted attention from a host of top European clubs.

De Jong's manager, Steve McClaren - who is no stranger to English football - believes the talented youngster is destined for a bright future in the game, and would be well suited to the Premier League.

"Luuk is an 'English style' striker, made for English football," said McClaren. "I am just ­desperate to keep him one more year in Holland. But I ­realise that will be difficult.

"Luuk is big, strong, brilliant in the air and scores goals so easily. He has every quality a top class striker needs to have for a big club."

The Holland international has already commanded bids from the Bundesliga, with offers as high as £12million, but his preference would be a move to England.

Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson would love to bring him to Old Trafford, but he will face competition from Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool, with moves to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane, or Anfield, all tempting offers.

However, before De Jong can realise his dream, a club must match his valuation, with FC Twente president Joop Munsterman insisting that the star striker will not leave for less than £12.5million.

"We want to keep Luuk," he said. "He is a vital player if we want to win the championship again next season and when we play in ­Europe.

"We have said that we won't go lower than £12.5m as a ­transfer fee. We need a top price for a top player."

Manchester United remain favourites to land De Jong, as the only side guaranteed at this stage of the season to be able to offer Champions League football.

Liverpool have gained entry into the Europa League via their Carling Cup success in February, and Chelsea have a Champions League final fixture to look forward to, while Spurs and Newcastle's European inclusion will depend on their final Premier League standing.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Newcastle United
Manchester United
Liverpool

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