Dede: Manchester United & Juventus interest is flattering but I am focused on Vasco

The young defender has been compared to Rio Ferdinand for his battling displays, but insists that he is not looking further beyond a successful 2012 for his club
Vasco defender Dede has admitted that he is pleased his performances have been gaining attention from Europe's top clubs, but maintained that his only priority is leading his current club to success in 2012.

The 23-year-old, who has made two appearances for the Brazil national team, joined Vasco in 2009 and has become one of the highest-rated centre-backs in his native land. He formed a key part of the side which finished second in the 2011 Brasileirao, losing out in a last-day tussle for the title with eventual champions Corinthians.

These performances were enough to link him with a move across the Atlantic in the summer transfer window, with Juventus, Manchester United and Benfica mooted as possible destinations. According to Dede, however, the Rio de Janeiro side are all he is focused on at the moment.

"There is still no [offer]. I was with the national team and I saw a reporter who asked me if I was going to Juventus. I said that I like the team, it is one of the biggest European clubs, but right now my priority is Vasco," the young defender told Globoesporte on Monday.

"How I see it? If I am to leave it will be further into the future. Speculation doesn't interest me. But I am pleased with the comparisons. I have been compared to [Rio] Ferdinand, who is a great defender, but I am completely focused on Vasco."

Dede and Vasco are currently contesting the Copa Libertadoes group stage, where they will next meet Libertad on March 14.