Manchester United and Chelsea have been boosted in their pursuit of Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala after Barcelona pulled out of the race to sign him.
As reported by The Daily Star, it appears that the Catalans have been put off by the star's £36 million price tag, meaning Premie League duo United and Chelsea could now go head-to-head for the player's signature.
At just 23-years-old, the central-defender has progressed into a fine defender in recent time, and has enjoyed a fine stint at Porto.
Having made 74 appearances since joining the club Standard Liege in 2011, the defender - who is currently in Brazil with the French national side - has gained many admirers as he continues to rise up the footballing ladder.
A commanding powerful centre-back, Mangala would represent a fine signing for interested clubs. His £36m value, however, does appear to be a large one, which consequently put La Liga outfit Barcelona out of the race to sign him.
If reports are to be believed, new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants to bring Mangala to Old Trafford in order to help rebuild the club.
The Red Devils endured a nightmare 2013/14 campaign, ending the Premier League season in seventh place and consequently missing out on European football.
And with experienced duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic having departed the Theatre of Dreams at the end of last season, the Red Devils are now in need of defensive recruitments.
United do, however, have trio Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at the club, but it appears Mangala could battle them for a first team spot at the club in 2014/15.
It won't be easy for Van Gaal to land the defender, however, with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho also reportedly ready to bring the Frenchman to the Premier League.
The Blues boss appears to be on the lookout for a new centre-half after selling David Luiz to French moneybags Paris Saint-Germain.
The Blues do, however, have English duo John Terry and Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge, so it remains to be seen as to whether Mangala would be brought in to replace either of them.
It's certainly appearing to be a busy summer at both Manchester United and Chelsea, with the race to land Mangala just beginning.
Manchester United and Chelsea fans: Do you want your club to sign Mangala this summer? Have your say below!
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