Manchester Utd join race to sign Benfica star Nelson Oliveira

Sep 18, 2012
Bill Mann

Portuguese star wanted by Man U, while stylish Arsenal hope to tempt Fernando Llorente

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MANCHESTER UNITED are the latest contenders in the race to sign Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira, according to the Daily Mail. The 21-year-old has been in sparkling form this season during a loan stint at Spanish club Deportivo la Coruna, and apparently it hasn’t gone unnoticed at Old Trafford.

Chelsea have had their eye on Oliveira since last season when they ran up against the Portuguese youngster in the Champions League, and with Benfica likely to cash in on Oliveira at the end of the season the Mail says Chelsea and United will soon go head to head for his services.

But the Premier League clubs should be on their guard: Barcelona and Real Madrid have also been checking out Oliveira and it could all end in a very costly bidding war.

Having spanked Southampton for six of the best on Saturday, the Gunners appear to have caught the eye of Fernando Llorente with their free-flowing football.

The Athletic Bilbao forward has been heavily linked with a move to Juventus later in the season, but a deal is far from being signed, sealed and delivered. That's given hope to Arsenal, claims Talksport, who report that the Gunners have not given up the idea of landing the 27-year-old Spanish striker in the New Year.  

"In January I am free to negotiate my future," Llorente told reporters in response to questions about his future. "One day I will play for another team…you never know how things will turn out."

Asked where he might end up, Llorente slapped down suggestions it was a given he would end up in Turin: "It is not decided that my future is at Juventus."

Liverpool were also mooted as a possibly interested party in the race to sign the Bilbao sharpshooter but with the Reds rivalling Montpellier (Arsenal's opponents in tonight's Champions League opener) for incompetence this season it's certain Llorente will dismiss their approaches.

However the Metro reckons that Llorente could be tempted by a big bucks offer from either Chelsea or Manchester City, both of them continue to believe money grows on trees. The paper quotes Llorente as saying he'll "consider all options" in January and adds that Chelsea and the Sky Blues would both be willing to pay £15m.
Still with City and the defending champions have persuaded David Silva to sign a new five-year contract. The attacking midfielder is now committed to the Etihad until 2017 and he appeared delighted with the extension at a news conference to announce the deal.

 "I'm very pleased because I've been here for two years now and I feel very happy here at the club, in the city and with all the people," Silva told the City website. "So now I'm delighted to be extending my contract and being here really does feel just like home for me."

The 26-year-old Silva, who'll be playing for City tonight against Real Madrid in the Champions League, arrived at the club in 2010 from Valencia.

Manchester United are reportedly homing in on Italian defenders Andrea Ranocchia and Angelo Ogbonna. Italian news site Calciomercato claims that Alex Ferguson is becoming increasingly concerned about the fitness of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, both of whom are the wrong side of 30, and is therefore in the market for a couple of youngsters.

Apparently United scouts were in Italy at the weekend to watch Ranocchia's Inter beat Ogbonna's Torino 2-0. Asked if he was aware of the rumours linking him with a move to Old Trafford, the 24-year-old Ogbonna replied: "They don't bother me…if they were realistic, something would happen."

Perhaps Ogbonna forgot the transfer window doesn't open for another 3 ½ months or is the tricky Torino defender simply playing hard to get?

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That is not Nelson Oliveira on the picture!!!