Thursday, 27th January 2011 

Barcelona are ready to rival Manchester United for the signature of Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel according to reports from Spain. The Catalan giants are waiting for their Brazilian full back Dani Alves to put pen to paper on a new contract, but are already considering alternatives in case the former Sevilla man stalls.

Josep Guardiola’s all-conquering side believe that a bid of €20M should put them next to United in the summer chase for Van der Wiel report El Mundo Deportivo and have been scouting the 22-year-old for the past few months.

Van der Wiel has continued his impressive development with Ajax, establishing himself as a competent right back who is not afraid to surge forward, exactly the reason he is seen as a possible replacement for Alves.

The Ajax man was honoured with the Johan Cruyff Award in 2010, a yearly accolade handed out to the best young player in Dutch football, following in the footsteps of another recent Barcelona recruit Ibrahim Afellay, who picked up the trophy in 2007. It has come as little surprise to the Amsterdam side that Barcelona have joined United in tracking their youth product.


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