Chelsea and Man United battle over Joao Miranda signature

Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United are said to be battling it out to sign Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda, according to The Telegraph.

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The Brazilian international is about the enter the final year of his contract in Spain and Atletico are concerned that they may have to cash in on him now rather than losing him for nothing next summer.

It has been reported that Atletico have attempted to offer Toby Alderweireld to Chelsea in a bid to deflect their interest in the 30-year-old, but Blues boss Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he is only interested in signing Miranda.

Mourinho had been hoping to land Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane this summer, but the imminent arrival of Rafa Benitez could put the breakers in any deal for the Frenchman.

Miranda has since been targeted as an ideal solution, as he would be relatively inexpensive, though he would face a tough challenge in breaking the duopoloy held by John Terry and Gary Cahill, who were excellent in the heart of the Blues defence last term.

However, United would stand a better chance of offering Miranda a starting spot, though, as neither Chris Smalling or Phil Jones have been bulletproof in the heart of the back line.

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