Manchester United have joined the race for Cagliari defender Davide Astori, according to the Express. Astori is valued at £10million by the Italian club and is attracting interest from across Europe.
The player was previously a target for Liverpool and Southampton, with both clubs faltering in their attempts to sign him during the Januray transfer window. This summer, Liverpool signed Kolo Toure from Manchester City while Southampton were able to secure the services of Dejan Lovren from Lyon, suggesting that they are no longer after the Italian player. Astori is also reported to be a target for Serie A clubs AC Milan and Napoli. It now seems that United are considering the player.
The 26-year-old has slowly been able to secure a place in Calgiari's first team, making 32 appearances last season. The player, who made his full international debut in March 2011, scored his first goal for Italy in last month's Confederations Cup. During the third place play-off against Uruguay, Astori was on hand to tap the ball into an empty net after Alessandro Diamante's free kick rebounded first off the post, then off the goalkeeper's back straight into his path.
It also remains to be seen whether Astori's current club will sell. Last month, club director Francesco Marroccu insisted the player was not for sale.
"Davide Astori is a point of reference for the future," Marroccu told Sky Sports. "He is a player that we would not consider selling. Cagliari will start again from him. He represents us on the world stage and he is a certainty for us."
The Italy international, who has been at Calgiari since 2008, was the subject of a £11.9 million pound bid from Spartak Moscow last summer. He politely turned down the opportunity to play in Russia.
"I want to thank the Spartak Moscow executives for their consideration, but I will remain in Italy and at Cagliari," Astori said on Cagliari's official website in July 2012.
Manchester United are also heavily linked with Benfica center-back Ezequiel Garay.