Manchester United target Dede is set to leave Vasco de Gama, according to their newly appointed manager.
The Brazil international center-back has been linked with a move to a big European club for some time, with United frequently cited as an interested party. Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in recent weeks.
With Vasco currently needing to raise funds to ease their poor finances, their manager Paulo Autuori, only installed in the post last week, has now confirmed that the 24-year-old is set to depart. “I know Dede is leaving, we talked about this since when I was negotiating with the club, I won't make up stories as that only complicates things," he said, according to Talksport.
The signing of a central defender could well feature prominently in United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans this summer. Rio Ferdinand’s contract is set to expire in the summer with no news yet about whether he will sign a new deal. Doubts also remain about the fitness of United’s other experienced center-back Nemanja Vidic after two serious injuries in the past 18 months.
Other than Dede, United have also been linked with Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld. European media group RTL has reported on speculation that United are tracking the Belgium international along with Premier League rivals Tottenham.
The 24-year-old’s comfort on the ball and good passing ability would appear to make him a good replacement for Ferdinand’s skills. He has also accrued a good deal of experience having been a regular at Ajax since 2009.
One defender who it doesn’t appear United will be able to lure to Old Trafford, at least for the time being, is St Etienne youngster Kurt Zouma.
There have been strong reports that the 18-year-old is a prime target for United, however Zouma has recently signed a new long-term deal with the Ligue 1 club and has said that he believes it is in his best interests to stay put for the time being.
“To be honest I want to stay here for one more year or even more,” the France Under-19 international said, according to Sky Sports.
"It is not an easy experience to go abroad early in your career. At the end of the season we will see what happens."
There have also been strong claims that Ferguson is considering bringing in an experienced goalkeeper to, if not replace him, then to provide a reliable alternative to David de Gea. Asmir Begovic has been repeatedly linked with a move from Stoke City, while there is also believed to be interest in Galatasaray’s Fernando Muslera.
The Uruguay international is said to have impressed Ferguson during Galatasaray’s two matches against United in this season’s Champions League. However, citing stories in Turkey, Talksport reports that Arsenal are now tracking the 26-year-old ahead of a potential summer approach.
But Galatasaray president Unal Aysal has said that he has no intention of allowing Muslera to leave.
"Our goal is clear," Aysal said. "Until we win the Champions League it's important we don't sell our best players."