Manchester United are set to lock horns with Italian champions Juventus for the signature of talented Parma defender Gabriel Paletta.

Italian newspaper Tuttosport has reported today that English side United is ready to rival Juventus in the race to sign Gabriel Paletta, 28-year-old central defender of Parma. The player of Italian-Argentine origin is really liked by Manchester United, the club which seeks a replacement for Nemanja Vidic. Parma, at the moment, does not seem willing to give up the player.

Paletta has a Premier League experience as he has made eight appearances for Liverpool back in the 2006-07 season under Rafa Benitez, before returning to his native Argentina with Boca Juniors. He later moved to Parma in 2010, where he has impressed, earning a call-up for Italy due to also holding an Italian passport.

Paletta, however, admits he struggled with life at Liverpool at such a young age. ‘Today I’ll admit I should have been more patient but I wasn’t happy at Liverpool,’ he told in the last month. ‘I was alone. I only remember the cold. In a year I never went out for dinner with a team-mate.’

Paletta has become a key figure at the heart of the Parma defence and according to reports in Italy such form has not gone unnoticed with United andJuve tracking him with a view to making a move in the summer.

United boss David Moyes is keen to add to his defensive options with Nemanja Vidic to leave Old Trafford at the end of the current season to join Inter.

The futures of Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand also remain uncertain, which could see Moyes step up his efforts to secure Paletta.

Born in Argentina to parents of Italian descent, Paletta represented his birth nation at the under-20 level, participating in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. He started all seven matches as Argentina won the title. In 2014, Paletta was called up to the Italian national team and made his debut in a friendly against Spain.

Having impressed on his international debut against Spain, Paletta is being linked with a move to Manchester United or Tottenham this summer.

Meanwhile, Juventus and Manchester are not the only clubs chasing this talented defender. Serie A sides AC Milan, Inter Milan and Roma are also following Paletta, however a return to the Premier League could be an option for the 28-year-old.

Parma are likely to drive a high price to let Paletta leave, with the Italian international contracted at the Stadio Ennio Tardini until 2017.

THT Verdict:

Considering his performance levels this season, competition for the signature of this Italian is obvious and it is almost guaranteed that the player will make a move in the summer. It is very likely though, that the player will give preference to a club playing in the Champions League. So, advantage Juventus.