Man Utd tempt Juventus’ midfield star into £20m move

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As soon as a side as big as Juventus drops out of the Champions League the transfer vultures from around the continent start to circle, ready swoop on any potential deals as the club looks to recoup some of the millions lost in being demoted to the Europa League.

That is a strategy that Manchester United are looking to adopt in chasing Juve’s Italian midfielder Claudio Marchisio.

According to the Daily Express, a bid of £20m has been made by the defending Premier League champions in the hope that the Italian giants see the offer as a perfect opportunity to cover their £17m losses in failing to qualify out of their Champions League group.

Parting ways with a player who was a product of their youth system, graduated into the first team in 2006 and has gone on to appear 187 times for the club will certainly pull at the Juventus heartstrings, but United are confident that the weighty offer will be enough to land their man.

The emergence of French talent Paul Pogba, who Juve nicked from United in 2012, has seen Marchisio start just 10 times in Serie A this season, a number that is well down on last season’s efforts when the midfielder missed just 12 games in total across all competitions.

The fact that the Old Lady have lost none of the 11 matches they’ve started without the 41-cap star may be enough to convince them they can do without the player, while the need for world-class, middle-band operators is of the utmost importance for United.

A run of three straight Red Devils defeats, which last happened 13 years ago, has increased the pressure on David Moyes to overhaul his squad, with a player of Marchisio’s ilk thought to be the ideal signing to get their 13/8-rated top-four bid back on track.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.