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United’s €75m Madrid raid


By Ryan Kane.

According to recent speculation Sir Alex Ferguson may consider a €75 (£62.2) million pound swoop for Madrid trio Lassana Diarra, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. As United prepare to enter the 2010/11 Premier League campaign it is clear they will need to make additions to their squad if they are once again to challenge Chelsea for the title.

The Red Devil’s have greatly missed the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez since the pair departed Old Trafford last summer. With Berbatov possibly on his way out of United following a poor first season at the club, Wayne Rooney will need adequate support up front, and many feel it won’t come in the shape of Michael Owen. The 30-year old striker who missed England’s World Cup campaign due to injury was never expected to be long-term strike partner for Rooney when he arrived at Old Trafford last summer with the majority of his appearances to date coming from the bench.

It is expected Sir Alex Ferguson will now look abroad to bolster his squad for next season. Gonzalo Higuain who has enjoyed a brilliant World Cup campaign with Argentina thus far is said to be valued in the region of €25 million. Real Madrid signed the 22-year old for, what seems now, a measly €13 million in 2007. It is expected that the striker’s value is to rise significantly following his impressive World Cup performances.

Benzema is also believed to be a prime target for United, and it seems, has been for many years. In 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson praised the then Lyon striker following United’s 1-1 draw with the French side in the Champions League. Ferguson was later accused of tapping up Benzema by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. The powerful striker, who had a disappointing first season with Real Madrid last term scoring just eight goals, is said to be valued at €30 million. Benzema has been out-of favour at the Bernabeu with the attacking talents of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain keeping the Frenchman out of the side. The 22-year old is said to be unhappy at Madrid and has often hinted on a move away from his current club.

Madrid’s Lassana Diarra is also said to be on Sir Alex Ferguson’s hit list this summer. Diarra had spells in the Premier League with Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth before making his €20 million switch to the Bernabeu in December 2008 .The 25 year old is described as a tenacious and tireless defensive midfielder and would slot into the heart of the United midfield along with Darren Fletcher or Michael Carrick. Ferguson is said to be keen on signing the Frenchman who is also known for his versatility. Diarra can play in a handful of positions including right-back. He is said to be valued in the region of €15-€20 million.

So will the United squad have additions before the start of the 2010/11 campaign? – As always many players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford with the likes of Luis Fabiano and Alexis Sanchez listed as possible targets. United are expected to make at least one more addition to their squad before the start of the new season. A move for out-of contract winger Joe Cole has already been ruled out by the club.

Will Diarra, Higuain or Benzema join Javier Hernandez on the list of summer arrivals at Old Trafford? – Only time will tell.

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