UNITED EARMARK CHIELLINI AS VIDIC REPLACEMENT

Posted Sunday, January 24, 2010 by NOTW.co.uk

Italian hard-man is Fergie's favourite


CHIELLINI: Always strong in the tackle

SIR ALEX FERGUSON will allow Nemanja Vidic to join Barcelona this summer - with Giorgio Chiellini his replacement.

Both Manchester clubs have been tracking the Juventus defender this season and the player's agent, Davide Lippi, was present at the Carling Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

United boss Ferguson has given up on convincing £25million-rated Vidic to stay beyond this campaign and is now hot favourite to snap up Chiellini, 25, for £12m.

Fergie is prepared to wait for the Italian, who becomes available at the end of the season, but City chief Roberto Mancini wants to boost his squad now.

Mancini is keen to deliver silverware this term and also wants to bolster his side's push for the crucial fourth spot in the Premier League.

The player is settled with the Italian giants but is open to prospect of testing himself in the Premier League.

The failure of Serie A strugglers to gain Champions League football after dropping out of the title chase so early will make it even harder for the club to hold on to their star stopper.

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