Manchester United rivals confident of beating them to Eliaquim Mangala

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Football News

Manchester United’s interest in Eliaquim Mangala will have to be stepped up if they are to land the £32million-rated star, as Manchester City are getting very confident they will beat their local rivals and Chelsea to the young star.

Mangala headed home from Brazil at the weekend after France were eliminated from World Cup 2014 following a 1-0 quarter-final defeat to Germany and the race to snap him up is expected to hot up.

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However, according to the Manchester Evening News, the reported imminent transfer battle between Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea may not be as serious as first thought. The report claims the Etihad Stadium club are ready to be patient and wait for a decision from him, which would indicate they are pretty confident of sealing a deal.

Defence needs repairs

Manuel Pellegrini is keen on shoring up his back line this summer after it looked leaky at times last season. Manchester City were very good in the final run of games to seal the Premier League title, but it was by no means a forgone conclusion at any time during the season.

Captain Vincent Kompany and youngster Matija Nastasic both struggled with injuries last term and the defensive line looked vulnerable when they were missing. Mangala would help to address that, especially as under-performing Joleon Lescott has left on a free transfer.

Old Trafford issues

Manchester United’s interest has been reported for some time and, like their rivals across the city, there are issues with the centre of defence that need to be addressed.

Both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left this summer after their respective contracts expired, leaving a significant hole in the defensive ranks. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have all failed to prove conclusively in the past couple of seasons that they are ready to step up as first choice.

Emerging talent

Mangala has been impressing for Porto in recent seasons and, at 23 years old, would be something of an investment, though an expensive one at £32million.

Chelsea’s recent transfer business has mostly been with investment in mind, as in the past year and a half they have sold Kevin de Bruyne, Juan Mata and David Luiz for significant profit. Transfers in have mostly been youngsters like Kurt Zouma, Christian Atsu and Thibaut Courtois, who were all loaned out to other clubs straight away.

Mangala would appear to be a typical signing for the Stamford Bridge clubs, especially as club captain John Terry is nearing the end of his career.

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