'I'm not looking to leave' - United dealt blow in chase of £23m-rated midfielder

Manchester United

Enzo Perez has said that he is happy at Benfica, despite rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United.

Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their chase for Benfica star, Enzo Perez, as the midfielder says that he is happy to stay with the Portuguese club.

United have been reportedly chasing Perez for much of the summer so far, as Louis van Gaal looks to make the additions required to his squad for the upcoming season.

It is thought that he could be available for around £23 million, but his reluctance to move away from the Portuguese champions will be a disappointment to United.

"I am very calm, comfortable and happy at Benfica," he said to the media in his homeland. "On Monday, I travel to Portugal and if the opportunity arises to leave, it must be a mutual decision.

"I personally am not looking to leave."

Perez was part of Argentina’s squad for the World Cup, where he played three times, including in their final defeat to Germany and was thought to have caught Van Gaal’s eye.

However, the potential deal to bring him to Old Trafford appears to have been scuppered, unless Benfica tell the player that he is free to leave.

That looks unlikely, as Perez was a mainstay in their side last season – racking up 43 appearances in all competitions.

It means that United are set to continue their search for a central midfielder, with another target set to be lined up.

Whether that will be one of the most expensive, highly reputed names – such as Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba or Angel di Maria – or one of the cheaper options linked remains to be seen, but it would be a surprise if Van Gaal does not recruit at least one more central midfield player this summer.

He has already brought in Ander Herrera, but the energetic Spaniard does not offer the physicality that Pogba, Vidal or, indeed Perez, would and signing somebody who can become a midfield enforcer may be a priority for the Dutchman – as that is a role that does not appear to be filled in the current squad.

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