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Why Liverpool are ahead of Man Utd in the race for Vasco star Dede

One thing is certain for Dede in 2013 - he will be sold by Vasco da Gama.

With Liverpool and Manchester United monitoring his situation, the Brazil defender knows Vasco must sell to the highest bidder this summer to keep the club afloat.

Cristiano Koehler, Vasco's managing director, has confirmed their plans:

"I find it very difficult to hold onto Dede. The desire of all is that he should remain, but the club needs the money.

"His investors also want to see him sold. I can't mislead the fans. He will be sold.

"We have a list of employees and a balance sheet that must be met. So it is possible that, in the middle of the year when the sale goes through, we can use much of the money to reorganise the club."

Vasco extended Dede's contract last year to 2015, carrying a buyout clause of £70 million, though those close to DIS, the investment firm which own 45 per cent of the defender's transfer rights, suggest £15 million will be a good price to sell.

Making the split easier for Dede is the departure of former Vasco coach Ricardo Gomes, who was close to the defender.

Aware of Vasco's cash woes, Corinthians and Fluminense both attempted to prise Dede away last year, only to be turned down by the player out of loyalty to Gomes.

The defender also famously turned down a multi-million dollar deal from Benfica to work with Gomes.

"People who know me from day-to-day know I am not worried about the millions. I've always been happy at Vasco working with Gomes."

Former PSG and Benfica defender Gomes admits he sees a lot of himself in Dede.

"He had a wonderful year in 2011," recalled Gomes. "Then in 2012 he stayed at the same level before he was injured.

"When he came back, he dropped a bit, he is still recovering his form, but has had several clubs interested in signing him.

"That shook him a bit, but we talked.

"It happened to me back when I was playing."

Interestingly, while Liverpool are regarded as being ahead of United for Dede, having followed him for the past year, Gomes was always admired by Sir Alex Ferguson when he played in Europe. But it's the Reds, which have spent the past 12 months establishing closer ties to player investment firm DIS, which are favourites for the 6ft 3in stopper.

"He'll have to learn to deal with it, because it will not be the only time when he's the subject of such attention," Gomes adds.

The last word should be left to Fluminense coach Abel Braga, whose team have been on the wrong end of clashes with Dede in recent seasons.

"This boy, Dede, is unbelievable, almost unbeatable. In the air, on the ground, his speed is incredible. You can even throw him up front and he'll win a game for you.

"He is a monster."

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

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