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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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United linked with Ajax star Eriksen

Manchester United are eyeing up a move for highly-rated Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Christian Eriksen, according to reports.

Danish Player of the Year Eriksen has attracted much interest from Europe's biggest clubs following a series of excellent performances for club and country, with Barcelona and Manchester City also scouting the teenager.

But United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is willing to spend big to sign the 19-year-old attacking midfielder, according the Daily Star Sunday, as he searches for a belated replacement for Paul Scholes, who retired at the end of last season.

"United are hot on him. Trust me, they want him and £20 million is the price being bandied around," a source in Scandinavia told the newspaper. "Yet ironically both Chelsea and Spurs turned him down several years ago because they thought he was too small. He has since turned into a world-class player."

Denmark international Eriksen, who plays his club football in the Eredivisie, was named as Dutch Talent of the Year in May 2011, by a panel that included Holland legend Johan Cruyff.

"This prize is just the start for him," Cruyff said at the time. "It should prompt him to try to get the best out of his career. The talent is there, the recognition also, now it is up to the player.

"He is a typical Danish player. You can compare him with Brian and Michael Laudrup, and only time will tell if he can reach the same level."

At last year's World Cup, Eriksen was the youngest player in the tournament, featuring in Denmark's group games against Holland and Japan.

United face a tough fight snatch Eriksen from the clutches of European rivals Barcelona, with the player admitting last week that the Nou Camp would be his favoured destination.

"I think most footballers dream of Barcelona," Eriksen said. "We'll see what happens when the time comes to leave Ajax. Barcelona's style speaks to me very much.

"A transfer to Barcelona would be great, but I have enough challenges with Ajax. I am patient and I'm in absolutely no hurry."

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