European giants Manchester United and Juventus are reportedly set to battle it out in the summer to sign Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez.

As per a report in Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, the versatile 23-year-old is being courted by Manchester United and Juventus and is expected to cost any potential suitors a cool €60 million.

Jose Gimenez is a full fledged Uruguayan international and he has become a regular feature in Atletico Madrid’s first-team setup this season. Manchester United have been linked to the former Danubio defender for well over a year now.

Acquiring the Atletico Madrid defender was reported to be one of Jose Mourinho’s top priorities during his first season at Old Trafford, but a move never seemed to materialise. Last season it was reported that Manchester United were hesitant to meet his €45 million release clause, but their interest was reignited toward the end of 2017.

With Victor Lindelof failing to impress in his first season at the club and English duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling seemingly edging closer to an Old Trafford exit, the Manchester United boss may finally decide to make a swoop for the Uruguayan, but they now face competition in the form Juventus.

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan defender Jose Gimenez (C) challenges Roma's Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan (L), Roma's Croatian defender Aleksandar Kolarov (back L) and Roma's French midfielder Maxime Gonalons during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Atletico Madrid and AS Roma at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid on November 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Jose Gimenez challenges Radja Nainggolan, Aleksandar Kolarov and Maxime Gonalons during the UEFA Champions League group C football match against AS Roma at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium in Madrid on November 22, 2017.  (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)

Over the course of the past few seasons Juventus have emerged as one of the foremost footballing forces in Europe. The Serie A giants have dominated in domestic competition and are also constantly challenging for the Champions League trophy.

A large part of that success has been down to their world class defence, which is rapidly ageing. Stephan Lichtsteiner, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini are all well into their thirties, Benedikt Howedes turned 30 in February and Medhi Benatia turns 31 in April.

This hasn’t been lost on the Bianconeri and they have brought in some talented youngsters like Mattia Di Sciglio and Mattia Caldara, while tying down Danielle Rugani to a long term deal. Given the profile of the players they are looking for, Gimenez fits the bill perfectly, and they are now set to go head-to-head with Manchester United for him.

A young, talented, tough tackling defender with good technical ability and a considerable amount of experience for his age in both the Spanish top flight and European competition. The only potential stumbling block for Manchester United and Juventus is his asking price, with Atletico Madrid slapping a €60 million tag on him.

His talent is unquestionable though, and given his age, he would prove to be a good long-term acquisition for both Juventus and Manchester United. It will now be interesting to see whether either club manage to prise him away from Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid in the summer.

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