Man United must move on Brazilian’s activated release clause

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The horrific exit Brazil made in the World Cup semi-final to Germany isn’t going to be remembered fondly by fans of the South American giants. But if it helps Manchester United sign a new midfielder, not many Red Devils will mind.

That chief spoiler Luiz Gustavo was one of the better performers for the Selecao during the tournament illustrates just how workmanlike Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side were during their home World Cup.

Once their participation is over though – they are 6/5 to beat Holland and claim the bronze medal – the Wolfsburg man could well be the subject of a few transfer bids from the world’s elite clubs.

That’s because the 26-year-old insisted on a release clause being worked into his contract when he signed for Die Wolfe from Bayern Munich.

That clause only activates once the World Cup ends and means the Bundesliga side must accept bids of £25m from a select band of big-name clubs.

Man United, despite not being involved in European competition this season, are sure to be among the list of qualified sides and have a distinct need for someone of Gustavo’s ability.

Ander Herrera has already signed for Louis van Gaal’s new side to bolster the midfield, but a destroyer to compliment his creativity is also a priority for the Red Devils.

Gustavo has been an interrupting machine during his time at the World Cup, effecting 22 interceptions so far, more than any other player in the tournament.

Having switched to the Volkswagen Arena from Bayern in August 2013 to try and play his way into Scolari’s 23-man World Cup squad, the 24-cap international made no secret of his desire to return to the top-level of competition sooner rather than later.

With the World Cup all but complete, Gustavo will surely be looking to realise those ambitions this summer, and United can do a lot worse than recruiting him.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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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.