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Man United keen on January move for La Liga duo

| 29.09.2014

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will attempt to plug the holes in his leaky defence with a double raid on La Liga in January.

The Old Trafford boss has seen his side fail to cope with the loss of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra last summer despite the arrivals of Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw and the emergence of Tyler Blackett.

The Red Devils appeared to have turned a corner with a clean sheet against QPR but after shipping five goals against Leicester, Van Gaal is sure to recruit in the winter.

Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian ace Miranda is said to be at the top of the list and the 30-year-old is reportedly keen to test himself in the Premier League.

Spanish champions Atleti will be reluctant to sell, however, and are likely to insist that their £24m valuation is met.

This is unlikely to deter Van Gaal, however, who has already showed that he is willing to break the bank for players he feels can fit into his system, while the Dutchman is also said to be prepared to offer Juan Mata as bait.

Miranda’s arrival would be a welcome boost to United’s defensive quarters with the players already at the club either injured, inexperienced or simply not good enough.

Van Gaal isn’t set to stop at the purchase of Miranda, however, and is expected to swoop on Barcelona for former United star Gerard Pique.

The Spain international has found game time hard to come by this season, with manager Luis Enrique preferring to partner Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu at the back.

Spanish newspaper AS claims United are ready to pounce and offer Pique a route back to first team football.

United will cobble together a makeshift defence for the visit of West Ham this weekend, with Blackett suspended and Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all injured, but remain favourites for the win at 4/11.

West Ham can be backed to build on their 3-1 win over Liverpool at 7/1, while the draw is available at 21/5.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.