Joao Miranda attracting interest from Chelsea and Manchester United

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Chelsea are ready to rival Manchester United for the services of Joao Miranda after Jose Mourinho identified the Atletico Madrid defender as a possible replacement for Gary Cahill at the heart of his defence.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the 30-year-old Brazilian is being courted by both Premier League rivals this summer, but the Blues believe they have the upper-hand because of the fact that Diego Simeone wants to re-sign Filipe Luis.

Luis has failed to make much of an impact at Stamford Bridge and is reportedly ready to return to the Vicente Calderon for the 2015/16 campaign, which could pave way for Miranda's prospective switch to west London.

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However, Louis van Gaal is equally keen to lure the Brazilian to Old Trafford as he looks to strengthen his options in the middle of the Red Devils' defence next term.

Miranda would probably have a better chance of securing regular first-team football at the Theatre of Dreams as neither Chris Smalling or Phil Jones have proved as convincing as the vastly more experienced John Terry or Cahill at Chelsea.

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That said, it's unlikely that at 34 the Blues skipper would be able to repeat the heroics of playing every Premier League game of 2014/15 again next season, so there could be more opportunities to play in Mourinho's team than it initially seems.

The fact Miranda has just 12 months remaining on his current contract with Atletico means that he'll be available for significantly less than the £22 million they demanded from Manchester United last year. And, that's part of the reason why both clubs are so interested in acquiring his signature when the transfer window reopens this summer.

The former Sao Paulo man is understood to have already met with senior officials at the recently dethroned La Liga champions to inform them that he won't be signing a new contract in Madrid, meaning the club could be forced to cash-in or risk losing the centre-back on a Bosman free transfer in 2016.

Where do you think Joao Miranda will be playing his football next season? Will Manchester United or Chelsea prove successful in their bids to sign the Brazilian defender? Or will Atletico Madrid make the player see out the rest of his contract? Leave a prediction below...

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