Zenit join Manchester United in chase for Italy defender

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Manchester United and Southampton have been joined by Zenit St Petersburg in the race to sign Cagliari centre-back Davide Astori, reports talkSPORT.

According to reports in Russia, Luciano Spalletti has identified the Italy international for a move to the Petrovsky Stadium, and hopes to beat his Premier League suitors to the defender's signature.

Red Devils boss has been credited with an interest in bringing Astori to Old Trafford this month, having personally watched the 27-year-old during a recent Serie 'A' clash with Juventus.

Southampton, meanwhile, have held a long-term interest in the Cagliari stopper, and were heavily linked with a move for him during the summer.

Mauricio Pochettino opted instead to bring Dejan Lovren to St Mary's from Lyon in an £8.5million deal, but with the Croatian currently sidelined with an ankle ligament injury, Saints could renew plans to bring Astori to the south coast.

However, both Southampton and Manchester United will face stiff competition for the player's services, as rich Russian outfit Zenit prepare to make a bid of their own.

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