Reports have emerged from Portugal in the last 24 hours that suggest a deal has been agreed between Manchester United and Benfica for the Argentina international defender, Ezequiel Garay, in a deal which could be as high as £17m.
Garay was originally one of Sir Alex Ferguson`s targets last years, but the deal never really got off the ground, however, despite being on holiday, David Moyes has asked United`s deal-makers to finalise the terms for the defender to finally arrive at Old Trafford. Whilst the transfer window does not officially open until 1st July, most clubs will have their deals in place, just having to complete the formalities after that official date.
The Argentine defender is currently away on international duty, with a blockbuster clash against Colombia on Friday night. Negotiations have been going on in the background for months, but have been complicated by the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the third party ownership of the player, something which is prevalent in South America; this inevitably delays deals.
Garay had only played 14 times for his boyhood club of Newell's, in Argentina before being spotted by La Liga side Racing Santander; he was then very quickly bought by Real Madrid. Unfortunately, he did not get chances in the Real Madrid set-up and was transferred to Benfica where he has blossomed. He is a permanent fixture in the Argentina national team.
United are in need of reinforcements at the back, with Rio Ferdinand aged 35 and adding a one year extension whilst the reliability of Vidic has diminished since a string of knee injuries. Whilst Phil Jones is starting to look the part, Chris Smalling needs more time to mature, so the acquisition of Garay will be vital for Moyes to shore up the defence.
I expect there to be an announcement in the next week about this deal.