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Battle for Chiellini

22 Jan 2010 08:58:54

Battle for Chiellini

SIR Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini are set to clash again - this time in a £25m battle for Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini. The highly-rated centre back has emerged as a target for both United and City as the clubs look to resolve their defensive problems in the summer. Ferguson is set to rebuild his rearguard over continuing concerns about Rio Ferdinand's long-term fitness while he is ready to cash in on £20m-rated Nemanja Vidic, who is a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid. He sees Chiellini as an ideal partner for Jonny Evans in a new-look central defensive partnership that could serve United for years. Despite previous manager Mark Hughes splashing out nearly £40m on Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott last summer, City's defence has still looked frail at times this season. And although Mancini has hinted that he is trying to bring in two midfield players on loan with AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini and Real Madrid's Fernando Gago high on his list, he knows 25-year-old Chiellini well from his time as Inter Milan manager. And the Blues boss wants to build a defence capable of making a concerted title challenge next season. Chiellini's agent, Davide Lippi, was a guest of both United and City for Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first leg with both clubs ready to bid at the end of the season. The Italian international is one of Juve's most saleable assets and is also being monitored by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. Ferguson is ready to overhaul his defence after two seasons of injury problems to his back line. As well as a long-term replacement to Edwin van der Sar, he is looking to replace Vidic, who looks certain to leave in the summer. Ferdinand's persistent back problems are becoming an increasing concern at Old Trafford, with the England star having missed the majority of the campaign so far. Would you like to see Chiellini at United? Have your say.


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