United plot £20m Ajax raid on Chelsea 'reject'

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Manchester United are ready to step-up their pursuit of Danish wonderkid Christian Eriksen, according to reports.

The Ajax starlet has been heavily linked with a move across Europe, with clubs in England, Spain and Italy all thought to be keen.

However, The Daily Star Sunday claims Manchester United are set to take their interest to the next level, with Sir Alex Ferguson plotting a £20 million move for the player.

"Manchester United are hot on him. Trust me, they want him and £20 million is the price being bandied around," a source from Scandinavia told the British paper.

Ferguson was heavily linked with moves for both Wesley Sneijder and Mario Gotze in the transfer window, with the Red Devils expected to replace Paul Scholes at the first opportunity.

But Manchester United decided against a move, with Ferguson putting faith in youth at Old Trafford as Tom Cleverley stepped-up to senior duty for the side.

A dip in form has led to speculation that could change in January though, with Eriksen now a legitimate target despite interest from the likes of Barcelona.

Chelsea have also been in the market for a playmaker, with Andre Villas-Boas failing to secure the signing of Luka Modric from Spurs in the summer.

Ironically, both the Blues and Tottenham are said to have rejected a chance to sign Eriksen in the past, and instead Chelsea brought Raul Meireles to Stamford Bridge on deadline day.

"Both Chelsea and Spurs turned him down several years ago because they thought he was too small. He has since turned into a world-class player," the source added.

Villas-Boas has created a side full of attacking promise since arriving in west London, but are potentially missing a link-man between the midfield and attack after failing to bring the Croatian international to Chelsea.

Eriksen would also fit with the club's policy of bringing youngsters into Chelsea under the former Porto boss, although it's unknown if the 34-year-old manager is interested.

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