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10 facts about £15 million Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay

Manchester United have been linked with signing Ezequiel Garay. Who is he and what do you need to know about him?

Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic started against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, a rare occurrence these days. One of the pair is often injured, and doubts persist over Rio's future with his contract up in the summer.

With Vidic's persistent knee problems keeping him out for much of the past year, it makes sense for United to look at alternatives.

One option which has emerged is Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, with the Mail claiming United have been scouting him this week. 

So what can we tell you about him? Here are 10 facts...

1) Garay began his career with Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, a club which has seen Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta and Jorge Valdano wear the shirt.

2) He is a 26-year-old centre-back who has an eye for goal.

3) His first European club was Racing Santander, and in his first season there he scored nine goals - The second highest total for any defender on the continent that campaign.

4) Garay has been sent off just twice in his career, with his last red card came in 2009.

5) He has dual nationality, being part Spanish, so there would be no work permit complications.

6) Garay signed for Real Madrid in 2008, but never really dislodged Pepe and Sergio Ramos in the pecking order, making 31 appearances for the club.

7) He has 11 international caps for Argentina, last playing in their 3-1 friendly loss to Germany last August.

8) Garay signed for Benfica in 2011 in a player plus cash deal which saw Fabio Coentrao go the other way and has a contract at Benfica which runs up until 2015.

9) A sell-on clause means Real Madrid will receive 50 per cent of any transfer fee Manchester United stump up for his services.

10) He scored in the 2-1 Champions League win over Celtic earlier this season, but the three points could not stop Benfica crashing into the Europa League as the Scots surprised everybody by qualifying for the knockout stages.

image: © jansolo09

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