United & Liverpool dealt £25m Brazilian international blow

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Manchester United and Liverpool appear set to miss out on £25 million striker target Leandro Damiao.

The Internacional hitman has been linked with a handful of clubs across Europe, with a string of English sides thought to be amongst the pack chasing a signature.

However, his current club are confident of keeping the player at the Beira-Rio, with president Giovanni Luigi stressing that they plan to keep Damiao for as long as possible.

"We are going to keep Damiao. He would only have two motives to leave - due to sporting criteria, or if the club had financial problems and needed to sell one of its stars. That is not the case here," said the Internacional chief.

"I can assure you that Damiao will stay with us."

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has recently been credited with an interest in the 22-year-old, who broke into the Brazilian national side earlier in the year.

The Merseysiders spent big last January bringing strikers to the club, with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez added to the Liverpool ranks to coincide with the departure of Fernando Torres.

However, a lack of depth in the position has left many to predict that the Scot will again turn to the transfer market in 2012, with Damiao amongst a list of potential Liverpool transfer candidates.

David Villa, Roberto Soldado and Oscar Cardoza have also been linked with moves to Anfield, although all four now remain unlikely Liverpool additions.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are also being linked with a move for a striker in January.

Whilst injuries to Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov are having a short-term impact on the Red Devils, it's the long-term future of the Bulgarian and Michael Owen at the club which could lead Manchester United into the winter market.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with a plethora of players, from Jordan Rhodes to Edinson Cavani, with the Manchester United scouting network working overtime ahead of the New Year.

Damiao was another player potentially on the list, but Manchester United will have to take their search elsewhere as the Brazilians play hard-ball for their hitman.

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