Manchester United and Juventus will reportedly go head-to-head in the summer as they look to sign Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez.

 

Manchester United were rumoured to have sent scouts to watch the 21-year-old play in the Champions League and were said to be closely monitoring the Uruguayan. Upon his arrival, Jose Mourinho was looking to revamp an ailing defence and had even let a number of young talents such as Paddy McNair, Donald Love and Tyler Blackett leave on a permanent basis, while Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was sent out on loan.

Matteo Darmian is likely to leave in January and the ‘Special One’ has reportedly made Jose Gimenez a top transfer priority for the summer. Premier League rivals Arsenal, who were reported to have opened talks with him over a possible transfer last summer, could provide the Red Devils with some stiff domestic competition for his signature.

According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, the Red Devils will also have to contend with the interest of Serie A giants Juventus in the summer of 2017 for Gimenez’s signature. The Biaconeri are reportedly planning for the future, given that their current defensive options are ageing. Medhi Benatia and Leonardo Bonucci are 29, Giorgio Chiellini is 32 and Andrea Barzagli is 35.

Benatia has a bad record with injury, while Bonucci is once again expected to be subject to interest from other European superpowers in the summer. Juventus are no strangers to spending big to get the players they want and they will be keen to continue their monopoly in Italy while challenging for the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Maria Gimenez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Elche FC vs Club Atletico Madrid at the Martin Valero stadium in Valencia on December 6, 2014. (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan defender Jose Maria Gimenez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Elche FC vs Club Atletico Madrid at the Martin Valero stadium in Valencia on December 6, 2014. (Photo courtesy – JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Gimenez reportedly has a release clause of £56 million, which is an amount Juventus, Manchester United and Arsenal can certainly afford. However, it is yet to be seen whether they would actually be willing to pay it, give the youngster has only 19 months left on his current deal.

At Atletico, the Uruguayan has developed into one of the best young central defenders in the world, but has been unable to establish himself in Diego Simeone’s first team this season. He made 38 appearances last term and 26 the season before that, but due to the form of Stefan Savic and Diego Godin, he has made only 3 appearances thus far this season.

In recent seasons, Atletico have seen some of their best players depart and it is yet to be seen whether Los Rojiblancos would be willing to let go of such an immense talent to any of their other European rivals on a permanent basis.

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