In the latest Chelsea and Manchester United transfer news, Jose Mourinho has reportedly bid £20m for another Atletico Madrid defender.
In the past 24 hours, Chelsea have been transfer linked to a brace of Atletico Madrid centre backs, with MARCA reporting today that it is Joao Miranda - an accomplished 29-year-old from Brazil - who has been the subject of an official £20 million bid from the Stamford Bridge side.
Such a move may encourage Manchester United, who have long been linked with the player, to one-up the West London club's offer - with a £24 million bid enough to trigger a release clause embedded into the player's contract at Vicente Calderon.
But how does Miranda compare to long-reigning servants from each club; John Terry at the Blues and Nemanja Vidic for United, who has now moved on to Inter Milan and remains a player Louis van Gaal must enter the transfer market to replace?
|2013-14 League season||Club||Tackle / apps||Clear / apps||Pass Acc||Total Long Balls / apps||Fouls / apps||Yellow Card||Red Card||Apps||Mins|
At 6 foot, 1 inch tall with 12 stones and three pounds of weight behind him, Miranda has the physical traits commonly associated with centre backs and, in this respect, is similar in height to Terry and slightly smaller than Vidic.
The Brazilian is far more prolific in the tackle than the two Premier League defenders from last season, but has trouble retaining the football - his passing accuracy is far lower than Terry's and is abnormally low for an elite-level centre back where passes are less adventurous than creative midfielders or wingers, for example.
Atletico attracted worldwide praise for their efficiency and defensive cohesion last term and Miranda was fundamental to that success - and his partnership with Diego Godin was also revered. Statistics do not tell the complete story for a player like Miranda as he is a highly intelligent reader of matches.
He is, very frequently, in the right place at the right time.
Miranda is also entering his peak years as an athlete in his position and would likely begin to challenge Terry for a regular starting role, as Gary Cahill's defensive partner.
He would, though, likely receive far more game-time should United reignite their interest. Considering Chelsea have already moved for the player, though, Louis van Gaal may have to act fast if he still wishes to add quality to his defensive options this season.