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The Premier League champions hope to beat Arsenal and Chelsea to the 18-year-old Southampton star's signature, and view the left-back as a long-term replacement to Patrice Evra

By Paul Clennam

Manchester United are determined to win the race to sign Southampton starlet Luke Shaw.

The 18-year-old left-back has attracted interest from both Arsenal and Chelsea since making his Saints debut aged 16 in January 2012, but the Premier League champions feel they can steal a march on their rivals and attract him to Old Trafford.

Shaw, who has a price tag of around £12 million, signed a new five-year contract at St Mary's in July, with Goal having reported his intention to commit his future to Saints last January.

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However, after scouting the youngster on a number of occasions over the past 12 months, United are confident that an early deal can be struck with Southampton, whose highly-lauded academy system kickstarted the careers of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale in recent years.

Old Trafford officials moved similarly quickly to sign Wilfried Zaha last January before completing his £15m move in the summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson wary of missing out on the youngster to a major rival.

And United are confident of repeating the trick with Shaw, who would be seen as the long-term replacement to 32-year-old Patice Evra at left-back, following the club's failed attempt to sign Leighton Baines this summer, plus David Moyes' concerns over the consistency of Alexander Buttner and Fabio da Silva.

The United boss confirmed on Friday that the club failed in a double swoop for both Baines and Marouane Fellaini from Everton, with only the Belgian arriving for £27.5m.

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