Earlier in the season, it looked like Manchester United were going to have and bring immediate reinforcements to their sinking defensive line, conceding every match. Things have changed for the better since, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning on signing centre backs, expensive ones, this summer. The likeliest of options might be Ezequiel Garay of Benfica.
Both the futures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are quite uncertain for next season – form, age and accumulated injuries have brought Alex Ferguson to the decision that another season with those two, who have hardly played together this season, isn’t something that will benefit his club in its aspiration to return to the top of European football (two seasons knocked out before the quarterfinals).
While Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are already at Old Trafford, with a bright future ahead of them, Ferguson isn’t completely sure that his centre back duo for the next few years will come out of this trio, not to mention injuries are something that usually strikes his defenders instead of attacking players; you can never have too much depth.
Ezequiel Garay, who has been playing for Benfica since 2011, has been very impressive in his form since making the right career switch – he was hardly used by Jose Mourinho during his time at Real Madrid, and didn’t really impress on his first season with the club, under Pellegrini. In Portugal, he’s been doing a lot better, and might be one of the key ingredients that will bring back Benfica the league title, which occasionally leaves Porto in recent years to make a tour of the Portuguese capital.
While Garay is rumored to be valued at £15 million, Benfica own only 60% of his economic rights, as Real Madrid will be owed the rest for any sale made by them, which might cause Benfica, as Portuguese clubs usually do, to bring up the price a little more, thinking they should get more into their pockets from these deals.