Manchester United are preparing a £15 million bid to sign Benfica central defender Ezequiel Garay at the end of the season, according to the Sun. United scouts are said to have watched the Argentina international several times this season and have already registered their interest with the Lisbon giants.
The 26-year-old arrived at Benfica in the summer of 2011 after a largely unsuccessful spell at Real Madrid.
It is believed that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to strengthen his defense after a succession of injury problems to his back line in recent times. Nemanja Vidic has just returned from a second serious injury in a year and there remain doubts about his ability to return to his dominant best. Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
United are also interested in Molde center-back Vegard Forren, according to the Manchester Evening News. The 24-year-old Norway international is believed to have been on Ferguson’s radar for some time. While Everton have also been monitoring Forren, the fact that he is managed by former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can surely only help United’s chances of completing a deal.
“We haven’t received any offer for Vegard,” Solskjaer said, according to the Manchester Evening News. “But there are many who have enquired about Vegard. I am expecting that we might receive an offer in January.”
“Yes, he could play for Manchester United but I don’t have to tell him that. At his best, he is a very good footballer.”
While Ferguson has said that he won’t be doing any business in the January transfer window, there has previously been strong speculation linking United with a move to Blackpool winger Tom Ince. Liverpool are also very much interested in the England Unfer-21 international, who left Anfield for the Championship club in the summer of 2011, and are reported to have made a £6 million bid.
However, Blackpool manager Michael Appleton has revealed that the club have dismissed Liverpool’s offer.
"As far as I'm aware I think there's been a conversation between [Blackpool chairman] Karl [Oyston] and Liverpool regarding an offer but, as far as I'm aware, it's way below the type of money we'd expect for someone of Tom's talent," he said, according to Sky Sports.
"Obviously the chairman keeps me informed but I think it was just an initial conversation between himself and Liverpool and there was a figure used but obviously it's way below, like I say."
"I wouldn't say I'm resigned to losing him just yet though,” he added. “There's still a lot of work to be done before anything like that happens."
With competition for places up front so fierce at Old Trafford, it appears that young Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez will be spending the rest of the season on loan at Wigan. The 18-year-old arrived in the summer for £4 million from Universidad de Chile, but has unsurprisingly yet to feature for United’s first team. Henriquez did score on his debut for the senior Chile side last month.
While a deal has not yet be confirmed, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has said that he hopes to help Henriquez’s development in the same way that a loan spell with the Latics aided United midfielder Tom Cleverley.
“Angelo is as good a goal-scorer as you will find. He scored goals at Universidad de Chile and he is going to score goals here,” Martinez said, according to the Daily Mirror.
“I am sure he will be an important player for United. We are glad we can work with him and he can use Wigan as Tom Cleverley did and adapt to what is needed in this league.”