After securing the services of Fabio Coentrao from Benfica a couple of weeks ago, Real Madrid have sent Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay in the other direction. Although there was no mention of the Fabio Coentrao deal in the statement from either club, no sign-on fee or contract length was discussed.
Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has been in the market for a replacement for Coentrao in the last few weeks. As they received a large fee from his sale of €30 million, they will look to sure up not only their defence, but also their midfield, which has still not fully recovered from the loss of Di Maria (also to Madrid).
It is thought that the Coentrao deal was used to fund the move of Axel Witsel to the club, from Standard Liege. Benfica were also in the market for another Liege player; highly rated defender Eliaquim Mangala looks close to departing for Benfica.
After being comprehensively dominated by Porto in the league this year, Benfica are looking to build a squad which will once again contest the title. Garay—although not a first choice Madrid player—will bring some extra quality to the squad.
Do not let the playing time at Madrid indicate the quality of player this man is. They have to consider he was up against the likes of Pepe and Carvalho for a starting position. During his last campaign, he made five appearances for Madrid.
He will partner with Brazilian Luisao at the back, formerly Luisao formed a duo with Chelsea star David Luiz. Garay will link up with the club in the coming days.
Adrian is the editor at Play the Advantage Football.