Liverpool & Arsenal join Manchester United in Fabio Coentrao race

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Liverpool and Arsenal are preparing to battle Manchester United for their long-term target Fabio Coentrao, reports The Express.

Real Madrid have been trying to offload the left-back for some time with Old Trafford mooted as a likely destination. However, president Florentino Perez has refused to lower his £25 million asking price despite Coentrao's lack of first team action and obvious discontent.

While Manchester United continue to monitor his situation, it appears Liverpool and Arsenal are preparing to push their Premier League rival out of the way and launch a bid to sign him themselves.

Strange target

Both clubs are struggling for defensive stability this season but moving for a new left-back will come as a surprise to both sets of fans. Liverpool's priorities surely lie in signing a new striker while Arsenal are in dire need of a centre-back; if not a defensive midfielder.

Despite Liverpool agreeing a £12 million deal for Alberto Moreno just this summer, The Express maintain that Rodgers wants to sign Coentrao, hinting that all is not well with their new Spanish left-back.

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Similarly, one of Arsenal's most consistent players this season has been Kieran Gibbs and it is unlikely Arsene Wenger would look to spend such a large amount on a player who would probably play back-up to the England international. Nacho Monreal has been found wanting at times this season and would need replacing if he was sold, but not even a big club like Arsenal can afford to keep an asset such as Coentrao on the bench.

First team opportunities

The 26-year-old would also not agree to leave the Bernabeu for anything like his current situation in the Spanish capital, where he has played second fiddle to Marcelo since the day he joined from Benfica.

Manchester United could quite easily afford the £25 million asking price, but again it is unlikely Louis van Gaal can offer much first team football with Luke Shaw, when fit, currently impressing.

AC Milan and Besiktas are also linked with an interest in the same report meaning Coentrao will not be short of offers when the window reopens in January.

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