Manchester United Transfer News: Ezequiel Garay Tracked by Man United

Jonathan Beever@@jonathanbeeverCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2013

Ezequiel Garay: Wanted by Man Utd?
Ezequiel Garay: Wanted by Man Utd?Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Ezequiel Garay has emerged as a legitimate transfer target for Manchester United after the Premier League leaders again sent scouts to Portugal to assess his progress.

The Argentinean centre-back has been an important cog in Benfica’s rise to the top of the Portuguese Liga this season, and Sir Alex Ferguson views him as a potential successor to Nemanja Vidic, according to the Daily Mail.

Impressive performances in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, particularly against Celtic at the Estádio da Luz, have alerted United to his maturing talents.

Despite the summer sale of Fabio Coentrao, Benfica continues to suffer financial instability and would be prepared to offload 26-year-old Garay for around £15 million to ease the burden.

However, Garay’s former club, Real Madrid, would be entitled to half of any transfer fee negotiated by Benfica, which could push the eventual asking price up.

With Rio Ferdinand in the twilight of his career and uncertainties remaining over whether he will continue next season, Sir Alex Ferguson will be considering the necessity of introducing a replacement.

The Manchester United manager may also be considering the plausibility of cashing in on the aging Nemanja Vidic—while he still has an attractive market value, he remains a sell-able asset.

If a decent offer comes in for the United captain, it may well it make business sense to replace Vidic for a younger model, and Sir Alex wouldn’t hesitate to make that decision if he felt it was for the good of the club.

Several central defenders have been linked with a move to United recently, particularly Borussia Dortmund’s highly rated stopper Mats Hummels. But Garay would be a less expensive option, which may prove to be an important factor.

Garay, who has 11 senior international caps for Argentina, looked like he had the world at his feet when making his way through the ranks of youth football.

He was part of the Argentine U20 side that won the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup in Holland—a team that included Lionel Messi, Fernando Gago and Sergio Aguero.

La Liga outfit Racing Santander signed the young Garay that winter, and he immediately helped the Cantabrian side avoid relegation.

His performances the following season impressed so much that Real Madrid purchased his registration, but immediately loaned him back to Racing for a further year’s experience.

Upon his arrival to Real Madrid, Garay failed to make an impression and ended up dropping out of the first-choice reckoning, becoming Jose Mourinho’s fourth-choice centre-back.

However, at Benfica, his early promise is finally beginning to flourish.

His experience and maturing game means he could be ripening at just the right time—the same time Sir Alex is looking to reinforce his defence.


If Ferdinand or Vidic moved on this summer, would Garay be a good addition to Manchester United’s squad? Let me know your thoughts or hit me up on Twitter @jonathanbeever.