Manchester United have had a £25 million bid rejected for Atletico Madrid defender Miranda. The Red Devils will need to increase their bid for the 29-year-old or look elsewhere after having their offer turned down by the La Liga champions.
Miranda has been identified by Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal as the perfect defensive acquisition following the departures of high-profile duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but the vastly-experienced Dutch coach may need to look elsewhere, according to the Express.
The one-time Brazil international was outstanding last season alongside centre-back partner Diego Godin, and played a major role in helping Atletico secure their first league title since 1996. His solid performances at the heart of Atletico's defence also inspired the team all the way to the Champions League final, where they were unfortunate to lose to local rivals Real Madrid.
Diego Simeone wants Miranda to stay
Even if Manchester United up their bid, Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is unlikely to sanction the sale of the central defender. Miranda's teammates Diego Costa and Filipe Luis are on the brink of securing a move to Stamford Bridge, while Thibaut Courtois returns to the west London outfit after three years on loan at the Vicente Calderon, hence why Simeone is determined not to allow another of his title-winning squad to leave the club.
The Argentine coach wants to build on last season's remarkable success, but keeping his squad together is already proving an impossible task. However, talented midfielder Koke is expected to stay, while Romelu Lukaku could move to the Vicente Calderon as part of the deal to take Costa in the opposite direction.
Louis van Gaal's defensive targets
If United boss Louis van Gaal fails in his bid to bring Barcelona target Miranda to Old Trafford, there's a high chance he will up his interest in several other defensive targets. FC Porto's highly-rated French centre-back Eliaquim Mangala has been linked - although he could command an even larger transfer fee than Miranda - while a player Van Gaal knows extremely well, Dutch defender Bruno Martins Indi, is also rumoured to be on United's summer wish-list.
Another player Manchester United are reportedly keen on is Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen. But in order to bring the Belgium international to Old Trafford this summer, Van Gaal may need to offer Gunners' boss Arsene Wenger the chance to sign either Nani, Tom Cleverley or Chris Smalling.
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans not good enough?
Van Gaal's interest in a new top-class defender suggests he has little confidence in the abilities of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans - all of whom can be accused of failing to fulfil their potential at this, premature, stage in their respective careers.
Jones has failed to establish himself as centre-back, right-back or holding midfielders; Smalling lacks composure on the ball, while Evans' performances dipped last season. It remains to be seen which of the trio Van Gaal regards as the most talented, although Sir Alex Ferguson once hailed Jones as one of the most naturally-gifted players he had ever seen - and even tipped the England international to become the best player in United's history.
Manchester United fans: See what all the fuss is about with Miranda by watching the video below.
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