Manchester United want €20 million 'Xavi understudy' as Scholes replacement

Manchester United have been linked with in-demand Spanish international, Benat.

Manchester United transfer speculation continues, this time it is Italian newspaper Corielle dello Sport with the story.

CdS claim United are targeting Real Betis midfielder Benat, who has broken into the Spanish international team this season, and is being honed by coach Vincent del Bosque as an understudy for Xavi.

Benat scored a winner over Real Madrid for his club earlier this season in a 1-0 win, and is very much the man of the moment in Spain.

This season in 16 starts Benat has four goals and five assists for Betis, where he has been since 2009 after signing for Athletic Bilbao.

The Italian newspaper report that Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking Benat for 'several months' and is examining the possibility of bringing him to the Premier League.

Manchester City and Chelsea have both been linked with the player previously, but Betis want to try to resist any offers for the time being insisting the 20 million Euros release clause in his contract must be met.

Benat's contract runs out in 2014 so in the summer Betis will be trying to get him to either renew his contract or hoping the clause is met to earn them the cash their financial situation demands.

The player himself wants to finish the season in Betis, and would rather move on in the summer, which would suit United as Ferguson prefers not to do business in the January transfer window.

The report claims Ferguson wants Benat as a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, as a fan of his vision, passing and ability to control the midfield

Watch him in action below...

image: © marcel sigg

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch