Report: United deal for long-term target 'DONE', Rio's successor?

Ezequiel Garay

According to reports, Manchester United have concluded their first piece of transfer business in 2014.

After making official the signings of Guillermo Varela, Marouane Fellaini and Saidy Janko, Manchester United manager David Moyes may have sealed his fourth piece of transfer business since succeeding erstwhile boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

With the likelihood of accomplished centre back partnership Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both exiting Old Trafford once their respective contracts expire in the summer, United may be light in terms of experience at the back.

Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling have demonstrated that, despite concessions, they have a good future at Stretford, while Phil Jones, too, can perform monstrously at the back.

However, a recruit in the middle of defence should be a mandatory requirement for Moyes and, according to both A Bola and a Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes from Diario de Noticias, the transfer of Benfica defender and long-term United target Ezequiel Garay to Old Trafford is a 'done deal.' However, he will not change clubs until the summer.

A Bola have more and report that United inquired about the player but were told the transfer could be agreed upon now, but only finalised in June, at the end of the current season.

Garay has long been on the shortlist of potential recruits at M16 and was even close to switching clubs last summer, but the player reflected that Moyes may not have believed in him as much as Sir Alex Ferguson did while Benfica did not accept the fee that United suggested.

Garay is seen as a successor to Rio Ferdinand as he compliments current centre back partner - Luisao - perfectly. Luisao, like Nemanja Vidic, is fearless, goes for high balls, throws his body on the line and is physically dominant. Garay is more technically adept, sweeps up the balls left over from Luisao's duels and builds attacks from the back.

He is valued by at £17.5m.

It is, thus far, unclear whether this report has substance as there is no official comment yet from Manchester United, Benfica, nor Garay, however, any agreed transfer fee would be split, with Garay's former employer - Real Madrid - gaining 50% of any negotiation due to contractual stipulations previously agreed.

image: © jansolo09

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