Stephan Lichtsteiner far from finalising Juventus contract

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Whilst Louis van Gaal is pondering over the dramatic return of Paul Pogba to Old Trafford, contract negotiations between Stephan Lichtsteiner and Juventus have stalled which could clear the pathway for the Dutchman to snatch the defender in a double switch.

Manchester United haven't exactly been at their best defensively this season and that could be put down to a cluster of injuries concerning Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Rafael and Marcos Rojo. In fact, at some point along the line this season, every United defender has fallen into the wrath of injury or suspension.

Despite the back line gaining some stability in recent weeks, conceding merely four goals in six games as opposed to allowing ten goals past their defence in the same amount of fixtures during September and October, Louis van Gaal is searching to find more defenders to add further quality to his improving squad.

So, the former Bayern Munich manager will be delighted to understand that contract negotiations have stalled between Juventus and key target, Stephan Lichtsteiner.

The 30-year-old is willing to stay with the Turin based club, however a reasonable £20 million fee paired with a persuading weekly salary could prize the right-back out of Serie A in replacement of Rafael.

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It is understood by the Daily Express that Lichtsteiner and backroom staff at the Juventus Stadium are currently trying to put together a new contract for the Swiss international, but it appears that those negotiations have taken a mysterious halt.

Whilst Louis van Gaal has set his primary target on bringing a central defender to Old Trafford, he will also be keen to add power to other areas of the field. One of those positions is on the right hand side of defence where Rafael seems to be constantly picking up injuries.

So, without a firm back-up option in the case of the Brazilian picking up an injury, penning a deal for Lichtsteiner could be next in line for the Red Devils boss.

Happy in Italy

However, luring him away from Juventus may be a tricky ordeal. The 30-year-old has made an honourable 102 appearances for the Serie A giants and his heart seems in the right place with his current club.

Speaking to the club website on Friday, Lichtsteiner said: "I like playing here because we have great fans, great players and great coaches." 

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Manchester United
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Serie A

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