Manchester United & Tottenham eye summer move for Italy star

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Manchester United and Tottenham are monitoring Gabriel Paletta with a view to making a move for the Parma defender in the summer, according to reports in Italy cited by The Daily Star.

It is claimed by those sources that Red Devils boss David Moyes is keen to bolster his defence with captain Nemanja Vidic set to join Inter Milan at the end of the season, while Tottenham's technical director Franco Baldini is believed to have identified Paletta as a potential replacement for sought-after Belgian star Jan Vertonghen.

28-year-old Paletta does have previous experience of English football, given that he previously spent a short time at Liverpool. Having only spent a solitary unhappy season at Anfield, however, he was swiftly sold to Argentinian outfit Boca Juniors.

Undeterred by his difficult Premier League experience, though, Paletta - who was born in Argentina but won his first international cap for Italy during last night's friendly encounter against world champions Spain - returned to European football in the summer of 2010 with Parma.

He has performed admirably during his three-and-a-half year stint in Serie A to date, forming an integral part of the defence at Stadio Ennio Tardini under the guidance of former Italy boss Roberto Donadoni.

Manchester United's need for a new defender is plainly obvious. The departure from Old Trafford of the experienced Vidic will leave David Moyes desperately short of quality at the back and this is something he will need to address swiftly moving forward.

While Paletta's previous stint with rivals Liverpool might make him somewhat of a surprise target for many Manchester United supporters, it is important to remember that he made only a handful of appearances during such a spell on Merseyside.

Tottenham, meanwhile, have conceded 33 goals in the Premier League so far this season, with only Liverpool having shipped more from the clubs currently making up the top six.

Having suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Manchester City and Brendan Rodgers' side, it could quite easily be argued that Tottenham and manager Tim Sherwood - if he is able to retain his current position, of course - could do with adding a little defensive stability of their own during the next transfer window.

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