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One-time Manchester United target Steven Defour in quit threat to Porto

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Should Manchester United be on alert over a potential transfer for Steven Defour?

If David Moyes is as expected, considering midfield options at Manchester United - then a dip into the records of United's scouting history may be worthwhile.

Steven Defour was one of United's big transfer targets back in 2009, playing for Standard Liege - The side Moyes signed Marouane Fellaini from.

He then suffered a broken foot - and received a get well letter from none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.

He would recover and clinch a move to Porto in 2011, where he has gone onto win successive league titles.

Buoyed by that achievement, the 25-year-old is reportedly setting his sights on moving on to test himself at a new club - if reports in Portugal are to be believed.

Portuguese paper A Bola claim Defour has told Porto he is keen to move, although stop short on describing it as an official transfer request.

They write: "The two national championship titles won by FC Porto Steven Defour do not leave him satisfied. Hired in 2011 by Standard Liege, the Belgian midfielder has informed the directors of blues and whites he wants to head to other places if not a regular next season."

In fact Defour is said to have told Belgian media outlet Het Laatste Nieuws of his threat himself. He said:

"I've let the club know. Either they give me the chance to prove myself or they let me go"

"There are many clubs that approached for me, but Porto blocked everything. That's a sign of trust."

Defour made 25 Primera Liga appearances for Porto this season, but many of them off the bench - 14 starts and 11 substitute appearances.

He didn't help himself by getting sent off for two bookings when he started Porto's key Champions League game against Malaga which saw them knocked out in the last 16.

The midfielder has 35 international caps, and is currently part of the Belgium squad preparing for June's international fixtures.

He does stand in line for increased game-time at Porto at present due to the departure of Joao Moutinho, but that clearly depends on who the club bring in with the €70 million fee from Monaco for the double deal also including the sale of James Rodriguez.

Whether United should move for him is another matter. Defour is clearly a talent with vast experience, about to approach the peak years of his career.

Many clubs would do well to take him on, and he would improve United's midfield - but they might just prefer his old teammate Marouane Fellaini, or Thiago Alcantara - each recently linked.

But given Defour's clear openness to a change of scenery, if David Moyes does decide he is one of his transfer targets, United might just have a good chance of snapping him up.

Should United move for Defour or has that ship sailed?

image: © mikehamm

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