Manchester United have reportedly been told they must pay £25 million to sign Ezequiel Garay from Benfica.
Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be a keen admirer of Portuguese football, constantly keeping an eye on the country for the next Ronaldo or Nani.
Several national newspapers including the Daily Star have suggested United have tabled a £12.5 million bid for Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay which is half what Benfica are willing to accept.
United will soon need to draft in top quality defensive replacements with the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra heading towards the end of their professional football careers.
If there is formal interest from United in Garay then it could quickly be over as Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t seem to be a manager who likes to be pushed around in the transfer market.
However, if United are in for him then there are many reasons they should pay whatever Benfica ask for the defender who has everything needed to be a success in the Premier League.
Garay is extremely quick which is something United have been missing in their defence so far this season.
He’s also got a real physical presence, at six feet four inches tall which makes him a solid replacement for Rio Ferdinand and he’s at an age, 26, where he has the majority of his career left in front of him.
He’s got experience at the very highest level having played 11 matches for Argentina and he’s thought to be open to a move to Old Trafford which should make the issue of personal terms a bit easier.
United have also apparently been scouting him for some time with a number of Benfica matches attended by United officials as they mull over the quality of the former Real Madrid man.
He is the stalwart of the Benfica defence so it’s only natural that they are going to demand top money for one of their best players, it’s just a case of how Ferguson reads the issue.
There are other options with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans all fighting for starting places but the signing of Garay would be a real signal of intent by United for the next few seasons.
United fans, do you see Garay as a possible replacement for Ferdinand? Is he worth £25 million?
image: © Crystian Cruz