Manchester United is sure to be busy this summer, as David Moyes looks to put his own stamp on the team and improve the club to counterattack the league's big spenders like Chelsea and Manchester City.
But one move it could make that may not be earth-shattering but would make a lot of sense would be adding Benfica's centre-back Ezequiel Garay.
Manchester United are closing in on their second signing of the summer transfer window—Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay.
An agreement in principle is in place between new Premier League champions United and the Lisbon giants for the 26-year-old, according to reports in Portugal.
United signed Uruguayan full-back Guillermo Varela, 20, this week, and could follow that up with the £17 million capture of Argentina international Garay.
Rio Ferdinand is 34 and surely in his final season with the club. Nemanja Vidic is 31 and proving to be injury prone in his later years. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have each shown great potential, but they're still inconsistent and battled injuries last season.
But Garay is a steady and consistent player. He has good positional awareness, he's more technically gifted than most centre-backs and he's strong enough to play the role of sweeper in a central pairing. Plus, he's proficient in the box on set pieces and even scored nine goals for Racing Santander in 2006-07.
He would almost assuredly compete for the "next man in" role at United at centre-back, if not for a starting gig.
Sure, fans of the Red Devils will want a bigger splash this summer than Garay and will identify bigger positions of need, namely in midfield and at winger, especially if Nani departs and Wilfried Zaha is sent back out on loan.
And yes, the hope that Cristiano Ronaldo returns will certainly inspire more excitement than Garay.
Ezequiel Garay is a smart signing for United.
But bringing in a player like Garay would signal that the Red Devils are looking to make smart moves to complement the talented roster they already have, not simply adding names because they can, like City or Chelsea.
While you always want fresh blood on a team to mix things up, you don't want to tinker too much with a winning formula. That's one reason why Wayne Rooney will probably be staying put and Moyes will find a role more suited to the forward's many talents.
In other words, Garay wouldn't be the sexiest signing, but he would be a very smart addition for the Red Devils. Sometimes, it's the boring deals that end up being the most important ones.