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Porto to beat United to Van Gaal target?

large_275f15e2ad0a0f4d301d0bfdfae12c8f7c939016Manchester United’s quest for a new centre-back could soon become more complicated as reports in the Dutch press suggest Porto are ready to open talks with Feyenoord for the signature of 22-year-old Bruno Martins Indi, who, alongside a number of other members of the Holland squad, was reportedly on Louis Van Gaal’s radar.

Ducth football magazine Voetbal International claims that the Portuguese club are looking to make the most of United’s current situation – with Van Gaal set to be involved with Holland until the round of 16 at least – and pip United in the race for the centre-back, with Feyenoord thought to be open to discussion for a fee of around £6.5m.

A very physical centre-back who despite his height – at 6ft 1 he cuts an imposing figure – has often successfully deputised at left-back, Martins Indi has impressed in Holland’s first two games at the World Cup, during which he was deployed as left centre-back in a three-man backline alongside Ron Vlaar and Stefan de Vrij.

With Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones United’s only options at centre-back following Nemanja Vidic’s free transfer to Inter Milan and Rio Ferdinand’s release, Martins Indi had emerged as a potential target due to his relationship with Van Gaal and a relatively affordable price-tag but Porto, who are likely to part ways with the highly rated Eliaquim Mangala this summer, could beat United to the Dutch centre-back.

United, however, have the advantage in terms of pulling power, with Van Gaal likely to do everything he can to bring the players he wants to Old Trafford. Whether that will be the case with Martins Indi, remains to be seen.