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FC Porto defender flattered by Manchester United interest

by Tom Parker

FC Porto centre back Eliaquam Mangala says he has been “flattered” by reports surfacing that he is heading for a summer move to Old Trafford.

United scouts have made checks on the French defender throughout the season and he appears to be one of a number of centre-backs interesting the club.

He told Sky Sports: “I am definitely flattered by the interest of such a big club like Manchester United, any player would be.

“I have a contract here until 2016 so even if I want to go, Porto will have their say in the transfer.”

Mangala and Ezequiel Garay have all been strongly linked for a move in the close-season, with the Portugal based pair both watched in Benfica and Porto’s 2-2 draw earlier this year.

Rumours began to circulate that former Real Madrid player Garay had been signed by United. However, this seemed a little premature and Garay has now publicly said he isn’t aware of any such move as of yet.

At 22, Mangala isn’t as experienced as his Argentinian counterpart but has some European experience with Porto and is a regular with the French U21s set up.

The promising defender admitted that he is flattered to be linked to the likes of United, Spurs and AC Milan but insists Porto will play a key role in any potential transfer.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops over the coming weeks as Sir Alex Ferguson’s apparent hunt for a centre-back on the surface appears a little perplexing given the strength of the squad in that position.

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