Former Liverpool whizkid rated at €35m linked with Manchester United

Parma fans at Ennio Tardini

Not long after being linked with a Manchester City flop, Manchester United are being linked with a Liverpool youngster who barely got a chance at Anfield.

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic's summer switch to Inter Milan was confirmed yesterday, and speculation over his potential replacement is running into overdrive.

As well as the usual names like Eliaquim Mangala and Ezequiel Garay being touted, David Moyes is said to have scouted Matthias Ginter at the weekend. An unlikely name linked last week was former Manchester City flop Stevan Savic, who has reinvented himself at Fiorentina, and now there is another of such ilk to add to the list.

Step forward former Liverpool youngster Gabriel Paletta, now of Parma. Football Italia reported United's interest last night, citing Italian website Teleducato.

Paletta has forged an impressive reputation for himself in Italy, so much so that he has been adopted by the country. At Liverpool the nationality on his passport was Argentina, and while it remains so - he has been cleared to play for Italy under residency rules, making his debut for the Azzurri against Spain last night.

He currently plays for Parma, now 28, but has had a mixed time with injuries this season restricting him to 11 Serie A appearances, where he has been since 2010.

He was signed by Liverpool in 2006 from Banfield for £2 million, but struggled for chances at Anfield, making just eight appearances, although he did score one goal against Reading in the League Cup.

Paletta told Italian newspaper La Republicca this week he felt he didn't get a fair chance at the Reds: "They covered me with compliments but I never played. I got tired of it and came home."

He switched to Boca Juniors back in Argentina, where the regular football was enough to earn him a switch back to Europe with Parma.

Now the question is whether he is ready for the next step, which the ascendency to international suggests - and then who with?

He would ultimately be untested when it comes to the Champions League, and then there is the other problem. Price.

Parma CEO Pietro Leonardi stated last summer: "Whoever wants to sign Paletta has to pay €35 million. There are no negotiations about that.”

If David Moyes really is set on him, with a rumoured £200 million at his disposal, then he better be prepared to pay up.

image: © verdi85

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