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United close to deal for Atletico defender?

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According to reports in Spain, Manchester United are on the verge of snapping up one of Diego Simeone's key defenders.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Today's big fat juicy transfer rumour comes to us from AS, who you may remember from such earlier stories as 'Vicente Del Bosque Rejected United Job' and 'Barcelona Are Really Rubbish And They Smell'. Apparently, Manchester United have handed over around €30m worth of buyout clause, and in return Brazilian central defender Miranda is on his way to Manchester.

For those of you that can't read Spanish or be bothered with Google Translate — sample quote: "The United paid a close to 30 million euros worth of mattress freedom defense figure" — the Daily Mail have swallowed and then regurgitated the tale in their own inimitable manner. A four-year deal, reckon the Mail. Already looking at schools in Manchester, add AS.

An odd one, this. Miranda's been excellent for the last couple of seasons under Diego Simeone, but had been drifting around for a while before that. United definitely need at least one centre-back this summer, and the departure of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaves a lack of experience as well as ability. But he's 29, which makes both the mooted fee and the contract look generous to the point of idiocy. Still, at a bit less for three years, tBB would be biting your hand off. We'll see.

Update: The British press pack are sceptical ...