Manchester United striker target signs new Udinese contract

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Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Luis Muriel, after the Colombian hitman penned a new contract with current club Udinese, reports Sky Sports.

The 22-year-old striker has started the 2013/14 campaign in scintillating form, with two goals in three Serie 'A' appearances, as well as a brace in a Europa League qualifier against Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg.

Udinese have wasted little time in securing Muriel's long-term future, after announcing a deal that should keep him at Stadio Friuli until 2018.

"We have extended Muriel's contract to secure the player, to reward him and to encourage him to continue on this path," confirmed the Italian club's sports director Cristiano Giaretta.

"He is already in a great club and he has yet to show all his qualities if he wants to play in one of the ten most important teams in the world."

Red Devils boss David Moyes was credited with an interest in bringing the South American to Old Trafford during the summer, but will now face an uphill battle to prise him away from Udinese.

After joining the club in 2010, Muriel has spent time on loan in Spain with Granada, and also scored seven goals in 29 appearances during a similar spell back in Italy with Lecce.

Last season the £18million-rated forward enjoyed his most prolific campaign to date, scoring 11 goals in 22 games, which prompted admiring glances from a number of suitors, including Manchester United.

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