Manchester United encouraged to bid for Serie A star

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Manchester United manager David Moyes has been offered the chance to boost his defensive options this month by Cagliari president Massimo Cellino, who has admitted that he will let Davide Astori leave for Old Trafford if an offer comes in before the transfer window closes.

Astori has been consistently linked with a move away from the Serie A strugglers throughout the last two seasons, with United among a string of clubs monitoring the Italian international's progress.

Red Devils boss Moyes made a personal check on Astori during a Serie A clash between Cagliari and Juventus in Sardinia earlier this month and Cellino has done little to dampen speculation over an imminent move, sharing that he would stop the centre-back furthering his career at the right price.

Cellino told L'Unione Sarda: "If tomorrow I was asked about Astori or others, I would let them go.

"I cannot protect my boys and so I could give them all away, as was the case for Nainggolan.

"Radja was wanted by PSG and Manchester City, but I succumbed to Roma. He did not want to leave, he had to."

Cagliari have already allowed one of their key men to leave in search of bigger and better things during the current window, with Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan moving to title contenders Roma at the start of the month.

The Serie A rumour mill has now thrust the spotlight back on Astori's future, with Moyes being asked to act now in an effort to secure a long-term defensive target before other top clubs on the continent come calling.

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