Manchester United face stiff competition to sign Dutch star

by Dan Cancian

Manchester United could be set to miss out on Holland defender Bruno Martins Indi as Porto look to start negotiations with Feyenoord before Louis Van Gaal takes full control at United.

With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaving the club at the end of last season, United have sizeable gap to bridge in their centre-back department and the 22-year-old had been earmarked as one Van Gaal’s potential targets this summer, but Voetbal International suggests the defender could be set for a move to Porto.

While Porto may well be interested in Martins Indi with Eliaquim Mangala tipped for an exit, you’d imagine that if Van Gaal wanted Martins Indi, all he would have to do is tell him to wait on any move and he’d listen.

If Martins Indi were to join Porto ahead of United, it would be because Van Gaal didn’t want him rather than Martins Indi choosing to move elsewhere.

Martins Indi, who will miss Holland’s final group game against Chile due to an injury sustained against Australia, was impressive in Holland’s first two games at the World Cup, continuing a fine run of form that has seen him develop into one of Dutch football’s most exciting young players.

A centre-back by trade, Martins Indi, 22, is also often utilised at left-back, a role he has successfully occupied for both club and country thanks to a good mixture of athleticism and technique.

Like many Dutch defenders, Martins Indi is comfortable with the ball at his feet and reads the game extremely well but is at his best when used as left centre-back in a four-man backline or as the left element of a three-man defence in a 3-5-2 formation, where he played against Australia.

A product of Feyenoord’s famous renowned academy, Martins Indi made his first team debut in the 2010-11 season and has since gone on to make over 100 league appearances with the Rotterdam club, with whom he finished second in the Eredivisie last season but he looks set to leave the De Kuip Stadion this summer, despite being under contract until 2016.

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