Manchester United Transfer News: Miranda, Eliaquim Mangala Boosts for Red Devils

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2014

In this picture taken Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 FC Porto's defender Eliaquim Mangala, from France, controls the ball against Estoril in a Portuguese League soccer match at the Dragao stadium, in Porto, Portugal. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

Manchester United's pursuit of centre-backs Miranda and Eliaquim Mangala has been given a boost after Barcelona reportedly withdrew their interest in the pair.

Marca reports that the Camp Nou outfit have been priced out of the market, with Atletico Madrid wanting €30 million (£24 million) for Brazilian Miranda and Porto valuing French youngster Mangala at €45 million (£36 million).

As reported by Rhys Turrell in the Daily Star, Mangala is "wanted at Old Trafford by new boss Louis van Gaal" as he attempts to transform their defence after the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Turrell adds:

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is also on the lookout for a defender after David Luiz's £50m switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

The 23-year-old fits the bill for both sides, with his stunning performances at the back for Porto catching the eye of the Premier League giants.

The player has previously admitted his admiration for the Premier League, per Jamie Jackson in The Guardian: "It is true that I love the Premier League because it is a spectacular championship."

Football writer Ben Fairthorne, meanwhile, reports that United are close to claiming Miranda's signature and have faced little competition from other Premier League sides:

The 29-year-old was a stalwart of Atletico's side as they won La Liga and made it to the Champions League final last season.

His experience at the top level and solidity in defence would be a fine addition to a Red Devils side that endured a woeful 2013-14 season, with a lack of organisation at the back being just one of a host of negatives during the campaign.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 22:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea and Miranda of Club Atletico de Madrid battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Chelsea at Vicente Calderon Stadium on April 2
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The potential new pairing of Mangala and Miranda would most certainly be stronger than the current options of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, but big money needs to be spent.

United look likely to miss out on another defensive target, Feyenoord's Bruno Martins Indi, who is currently impressing for Van Gaal's Netherlands at the World Cup.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Bruno Martins Indi gets ready to speak to the media during the Netherlands Press Conference at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil held at the Arena de Sao Paulo on June 22, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulo
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Turrell again reports that Porto are in the driving seat to sign the 22-year-old for £6.5 million, and that they hope to get the deal done before Martins Indi's national coach Van Gaal takes over at Old Trafford. 

United need a great amount of quality added to the team if they are to return to their former glories after a seventh-place Premier League finish last season.

They need to spend money, but they also need to target the right kind of player. Rebuilding the defence is the first port of call and Mangala and Miranda would be terrific additions.

With Barcelona now out of the running, the Red Devils seem to be in a good position to snap up their desired targets and continue building for the new term.