Manchester United need to consider their defensive options for the future as the injury prone and ageing bodies of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic continue to fall short of their expectations.
With both men’s contracts up in the summer there is little doubt that United will be earmarking players capable of filling their illustrious boots - to take the team forward alongside Johnny Evans and Chris Smalling.
One player who has been linked with this role in the past has been Brazilian international Dede.
The talented defender was heavily linked with an Old Trafford switch in 2012 and 2013 - but he instead joined Brazilian rivals Cruzeiro from Vasco da Gama - citing a need to continue developing in Brazilian football:
And develop he did. He was a star performer for Cruzeiro as they romped to the Brazilian league title - led from the front by fellow United target Everton Ribeiro.
And that interest returned this week when his agent, Claudio Vagheggi, made it clear there is English interest in his player - and even suggested a price that would see him leave his current club.
"Several clubs in England and Russia are following Dedé, but he is only going to leave Cruzeiro for €12 to €15 million."
Of course that interest is now believed to have come from cross-city rivals Manchester City - while Zenit St Petersburg are said to be the favourites in his pursuit - as his agent backed off United interest in his services this morning:
“I cannot talk about this speculation regarding Manchester United because it is something unknown to me.”
But all this talk from his agent - what about the player himself.
Today Dede has broken his silence over a potential move to Europe this month:
“This (speculation) is good too, especially for the valuation of me, the player. Prior to joining Cruzeiro, I thanked Corinthians a lot for making a good proposal, which I valued. I came to Cruzeiro instead and thanked them even more. They give me strength, great moral support and I thank them for allowing me a stage to continue growing, which is what I really needed. And today the great teams of Europe are speculated to be linked with my name; this gives me a lot of confidence and makes me very happy. It helps me a lot.”
image: © Paolo Camera