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Manchester United Transfer News: Nicolas Gaitan Open to Benfica Exit

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 14:  Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica reacts after being brought down in the area during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Sevilla FC and SL Benfica at Juventus Stadium on May 14, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

Argentina international Nicolas Gaitan is back on the Manchester United transfer radar after it emerged the player would be open to a move away from Benfica.

Ben Jefferson of The Express writes that Gaitan's agent, Jose Iribarren, has admitted that the player might move due to the Portuguese club's financial difficulties.

Iribarren said, per Jefferson:

We've had many conversations about Gaitan in recent years but at the moment he is a Benfica player and only the club can make a decision on whether to release the player or not. If a potential buyer makes an offer that interests Benfica, we will carefully consider it.

As well as United, Jefferson reports that the attacker is also attracting interest from Tottenham and Zenit Saint Petersburg. However, Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes outright dismissed Spurs' interest in the player via Twitter:

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Gaitan is not at the top of his stock compared with other seasons, when he was linked with a move to some of Europe's biggest clubs.

The player featured 36 times for Benfica in domestic league and European competition last year, per WhoScored.com, but only returned six goals and provided no assists.

Considering that Benfica ran away with the league championship, it would be a major concern that Gaitan's influence was not more prominent.

Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

United already have a stack of wingers who do not provide assists, so bringing in Gaitan would be a huge error of judgement. It is questionable if he is better than a player such as Nani, who has struggled to find his best form in recent years. 

United need wide players who can not only create but score, and Gaitan at this present time does not fulfill this criteria.

Louis van Gaal will be looking to sign players who can fit the 4-3-3 system that he prefers to deploy. Even though Gaitan would fit this objective, he could struggle with life in the Premier League.

The huge difference in quality between Portuguese and English football could see him sink fast. United need answers to their own issues with immediate effect.

It is unlikely that Gaitan will join United with the current state of play.

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