MEN make United claim over £40m Chelsea target

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The Manchester Evening News have issued a plea to Sir Alex Ferguson to try and sign Chelsea target Luka Modric in the transfer window.

Andre Villas-Boas courted the player heavily in the summer, with a £40 million Blues bid rebuffed on deadline day as Tottenham Hotspur battled to keep hold of their prized asset.

With the former Porto boss expected to go after the 26-year-old at Stamford Bridge in January, the paper has told the Scottish boss to make its move for Spurs' highly-rated playmaker.

"Sir Alex Ferguson needs to make only one new year’s resolution for 2012 – sign Luka Modric," said the paper.

"The Manchester United manager spent the summer months trying and failing to land a replacement for Paul Scholes. Now he has four weeks in January to secure the midfield playmaker he so desperately requires.

"And few, if any, fit the bill better than Modric. He is arguably the closest fit there is to Scholes in the Premier League right now."

Wesley Sneijder and Mario Gotze were also linked with Manchester United moves in August, before Ferguson decided against a move for a traditional playmaker, showing faith in rising starlet Tom Cleverley at Old Trafford.

Like Modric, the youngster had Barclays Premier League experience ahead of the current campaign from his spell on loan with Wigan, and that is another advantage the Croatian would bring to Manchester United should the manager be convinced into making a move at Old Trafford.

Chelsea followed the same policy after missing out on the player, bringing Raul Meireles to west London from Liverpool on deadline day.

The new manager's attacking philosophy has been evident from day one, and whilst the results haven't completely gone the way of 'AVB', he's vowed to continue with the style of play which has brought some excitement to Stamford Bridge.

And, whilst a defender should arguably be higher on the agenda for the Chelsea boss, the MEN isn't surprised by their rivals persistent chase of such a high-class midfielder.

"Blessed with a wonderful, vision and range of passing, it is understandable why Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was so determined to sign him in the summer."

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