Manchester United scout €133m quartet in 4-3 thriller - report

Ezequiel Garay

United sent representatives to watch Benfica play Sporting Lisbon on Saturday - in a match of some excitement.

When it comes to Manchester United and transfer rumours, Portugal is always a good place to start.

And this year that is more the case than ever with Ezequiel Garay, Nemanja Matic, Nicolas Gaitan and William Carvalho all linked with the English champions.

While the Gaitan rumours have faded in recent times, Garay is a name perennially linked with United, while Matic and Carvalho have surfaced more recently as potential future arrivals at Old Trafford.

Yesterday, United had the chance to see all four players in the flesh, with Benfica hosting Sporting Lisbon in a cup match that proved to be quite a show.

The game ended 4-3 to the home side, with Oscar Cardozo netting a hat-trick. And while none of United’s reported targets got on the score-sheet, in truth most are not employed to do that.

Gaitan’s cross enabled Cardozo to score his second, before Carvalho lost possession and his mistake proved costly as the striker bagged his third. But in a game where United’s scout was sent to watch predominantly defensive players, the goals took over.

As reported by Portuguese website Mais Futebol prior to kick off, it was not only a representative from United who was present. Staff from West Bromwich Albion and QPR also had scouts in attendance, along with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart and Montpellier.

With release-clauses or reported asking-prices ranging from €20million to €45million, United's reported targets will be expensive purchases.  But they could also prove to be wise ones.

And while the two Portuguese clubs defences may have taken a bit of a pounding on Saturday, it was an entertaining match. Now Moyes must decide if he moves for any of the players on show come January or next summer.

images: © jansolo09

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