According to the Daily Express, English giants Manchester United have completed the signing of Benfica centre-back Ezequiel Garay for a reported fee of £17 million.

Via CaughtOffside:

“Man United have reportedly completed a £17m deal to strengthen their defence with the capture of Benfica centre-back Ezequiel Garay according to the Daily Express.

The Old Trafford side have been scouting the powerful Argentine defender for some months and have apparently come to an ‘agreement’ with the Lisbon based side as to a fee for the former Real Madrid man.”

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are entering the twilight days of their respective careers and Manchester United’s defence has been considerably mediocre this term.

The Red Devils have leaked goals for fun sometimes and although their defensive output of late has been relatively better, United do need some fresh legs at the back.

Garay thus, entering the prime of his career, can bring about the much-needed stability to the 19-time English champions’ defence.

After a forgetful stint at Madrid, the Argentine has ‘re-ignited’ his career in Portugal and has  been the backbone of Benfica’s impressive domestic form this season.  

Even though he might not be the fastest defender around, the 26-year-old possesses excellent tackling and interception skills, and can shut down any attack in a matter of seconds. A possible partnership of Garay and Jonny Evans, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as back-ups could secure United’s defensive set-up for many years to come and probably iron out another deficiency in Sir Alex Ferguson’s current squad.

It has to, however, noted that neither club has officially confirmed the deal yet.

Nonetheless, if United do purchase Garay, the latter will be Ferguson’s second purchase for the 2013/14 season, with the Scot having already bought Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace in January.  

In all fairness, it appears as if Fergie is wasting no time to wrap up deals for his shortlisted players, having suffered major disappointments in the pursuit of Eden Hazard and Lucas Moura last year.