Manchester United will go head-to-head in a summer battle with Atletico Madrid for the signing of Alessio Cerci, [football] direct news understands. The Italian international has been in superb form this season and has played his way into a Brazil World Cup spot after scoring 13 and creating 11 in his 33 Serie A games. Cerci, 26, was hailed as one of Italy’s most promising young players when he debuted for Roma in 2004 but poor form saw him battle through loan periods with Brescia, Pisa and Atalanta. He eventually left Roma to sign with Fiorentina but he was sold in 2012 in a co-ownership deal to Torino, where he has now re-found the form that saw him dubbed as ‘The Thierry Henry of Valmontone’, the area he grew up. That has led a number of clubs show interest, which is led by Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, who are now ready to battle for his signature. The Spanish club were in attendance as Cerci played in his side’s 3-3 draw with Lazio on Saturday and it is understood that initial contact was made.