Belfast Telegraph

Argentine ace Lucas Biglia on the brink of Manchester United move

By Carl Markham

Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Lazio captain Lucas Biglia, with a four-year deal to be confirmed.

According to reports in France, the Argentina midfielder has agreed personal terms with United, who had a £17m bid rejected earlier this summer.

It has been reported that the Serie A side are holding out for £25m.

The 29-year-old midfielder has agreed to the deal and a transfer fee just needs to be finalised.

Elsewhere, United have made a 'discreet enquiry' for Tottenham striker Harry Kane, according to reports, even though Louis van Gaal has publicly stated that strengthening that position is not a priority.

Van Gaal has admitted he could add another centre-back, while there is still uncertainty in goal with David De Gea close to a move to Real Madrid.

Kane scored 31 goals last season for Spurs.

United have seen both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao leave this summer, with Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez - who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid - and James Wilson the only strikers in the squad.

De Gea is also expected to leave Old Trafford and United have been issued an ultimatum by Real Madrid.

The goalkeeper, 24, has been strongly linked with a move to the Spanish giants this summer, but the two parties have yet to agree on a deal.

There are reports in Spain that Madrid are now trying to force through the switch by telling United to accept a £17.7m bid or face losing the keeper for free next summer.

Current Madrid stopper Kaylor Navas could also be used as an exchange transfer in the lucrative deal.

Meanwhile, United's Daley Blind has hit back at those questioning the decision to play him at centre-back, insisting he is "clever enough and smart enough" for the position.

Blind, seen more regularly in midfield or at left-back in his first campaign with United last term, was used as a central defender in the Red Devils' Premier League opener against Tottenham on Saturday.

There has been plenty of debate about his suitability for the role.

And after helping his side to a 1-0 victory in the game at Old Trafford, the 25-year-old Holland international said: "I've said many times before that I just want to play.

"If you see what everyone can add to the team, then it's a real battle for places and everyone had to fight for a position.

"I got a chance on this occasion and I tried my best. Of course, people always say I don't have the height or the power but I think I'm clever enough and smart enough.

"I think we did well at the back, together with Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian, and we got a clean sheet, so I was happy."

After starting against Tottenham, Blind is set to keep his place for Friday night's trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa.

Tim Sherwood's side beat Bournemouth on Saturday thanks to a powerful header from Rudy Gestede, their new £6m signing from Blackburn.

Despite his size, Blind insists he's not fazed by the challenge of facing the Premier League's physical strikers.

And he pointed to how he handled Kane, with the help of Smalling, as evidence that he can be a long-term option at centre-back this season.

He added: "If you see our opponent (against Tottenham), he's very good.

"He wins a lot of headers and duels in the striking position so it's not only about power and force."

Belfast Telegraph


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