New twist in Manchester United's Ezequiel Garay pursuit

Manchester United are claimed to be tracking Ezequiel Garay but face competition.

It was claimed last month that Ezequiel Garay to Manchester United was a done deal, with Portuguese newspaper Record making the claims.

Those reports have since been refuted, although there has been no statement from either United or Benfica on the issue - the Red Devils are claimed to be more interested in his teammate, midfielder Nemanja Matic.

A new twist has emerged in relation to the future of Garay, according to the latest reports out of Portugal today.

Portuguese newspaper O Jogo claim Real Madrid are looking at the possibility of re-signing the defender and bringing him back to the Bernabeu.

The Spanish press are also following the reports in more detail, claiming Madrid will have centre-back spots in their squad opening up with Raul Albiol likely to be sold and Ricardo Carvalho also set to depart.

Garay spent two seasons at Madrid, before leaving to sign permanently with Benfica in 2011, and has impressed particularly this season, with the club on course to win the Primera Liga title.

The decision to sign him may not make the greatest financial sense for Madrid however.

They had a 50 per cent sell on clause written into his Benfica contract, meaning if United spent 20 million Euros on him they would receive 10 million.

Instead, Madrid would be shelling out the entire amount themselves and ending up out of pocket rather than in profit, for a player they sold for just 5.5 million Euros two seasons ago.

The only logic here is if Madrid have a cheaper buy-back option for him which has not been previously been reported.

Garay would not be guaranteed a centre-back spot at Madrid either, with Raphael Varane's emergence, so it could be a straight battle between Garay and Pepe in defence.

Whether the Argentine sees a return as unfinished business or a backward step is dependent on his mentality, and he may be fearful of ending up back on the bench again.

United want him as a replacement for either Ferdinand or Vidic, and while their interest probably is genuine, it's early days to assess whether Real Madrid really are investigating the possibility of bringing him back.

image: © Jan Solo

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