Liverpool and Manchester United could go head-to-head for the signing of Javier Pastore this summer, with reports suggesting that both Brendan Rodgers and Louis van Gaal would both be willing to spend £20 million on the Paris Saint-Germain player.
This is according to The Daily Express, who claim that Rodgers believes Pastore can flourish alongside the likes of Luis Suarez while Van Gaal reportedly views the Argentine as a perfect accomplice for Manchester United's own attacking unit.
24-year-old Pastore joined PSG from Serie A outfit Palermo during the summer of 2011. However, despite initially proving rather crucial to the Parisians' fortunes, his influence at the Parc des Princes has diminished somewhat in recent times.
Indeed, the Argentine international - who was not named as a member of Alejandro Sabella's provisional 30-man squad for this summer's World Cup - has made just 17 starts in Ligue 1 this season, with 11 further appearances coming from the substitute's bench.
Both Manchester United and Liverpool have the need to strengthen their respective squads this summer, although for quite different reasons.
After a turbulent 2013/14 Premier League campaign which saw the club dispense of manager David Moyes after just 10 months in the Old Trafford hotseat, Manchester United - who are expected to confirm the appointment of Van Gaal as their new manager next week following Holland's friendly with Ecuador - will surely be hoping to complete several big deals for reputable players as part of an overdue overhaul.
Liverpool, by contrast, enjoyed a remarkably strong top-flight season. Although their title bid eventually crumbled at the final hurdle, the club still managed to comfortably exceed pre-season expectations and deservedly secure runners-up spot and automatic Champions League qualification.
While Rodgers may perhaps want to ensure that he is first able to strengthen a suspect defensive lineup whose failures certainly contributed to Liverpool's downfall in the final few weeks of the season, it certainly would not harm the club to further increase their impressive options in the final third.
Convincing Pastore that his future lies away from France may prove somewhat tricky, however, with the player having expressed an apparent desire to stay at PSG.
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