Napoli line up move for Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay

Ezequiel Garay for Benfica

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly lining up a swoop for Benfica's Ezequiel Garay - who has been strongly linked with Manchester United.

Garay, 27, made his name with Racing Santander in La Liga, where his impressive displays led to a move to giants Real Madrid, where he served as a bit-part figure until his 2011 switch to Benfica, where he was signed as the replacement for Chelsea's David Luiz, who was sold six months earlier.

It's in Portugal where Garay has really excelled, becoming one of the most coveted centre backs in European football, with Manchester United believed to be extremely interested in the Argentine international, as experienced duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand look poised to leave the club this summer - leaving manager David Moyes with two huge holes to fill in his defence.

But his hopes of landing Garay could have taken a hit despite travelling to Portugal to watch him in action against Porto last night, as former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is reportedly eyeing up a move for Garay.

Benitez has been linked with a whole host of centre backs, including Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Jan Vertonghen of Premier League fame, as he seeks to land the partner to Raul Albiol in his Napoli defence.

As Albiol and Garay played with each other at Real Madrid, albeit sporadically, it may make sense to try and pair them at the Stadio San Paolo - particularly as Benitez has been known to favour signing players from his native Spain, and may well be familiar with Garay from scouting missions in La Liga.

United will still hold out hope of landing Garay, who could cost around £20m, but with interest building and the World Cup on the horizon, Moyes may need to move fast if we truly sees the Argentine as the solution to his defensive problems.

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