After a very long time of scouting, observing and spreading rumors, it seems Manchester United are finally making a move for Ezequiel Garay of Benfica, hoping that the negotiations for the Argentine centre back do not become too prolonged of an experience.
David Moyes, according to the Daily Mirror, has gotten the OK from the board to launch a £17 million bid for the player who has played in 51 matches for Benfica since arriving from Real Madrid in 2011 for €5.5 million. The club itself owns 40% of his economic rights, as Real Madrid retained 50% of his future transfer fee, while Benfica also sold part of his rights to Benfica Stars Fund for €1.175 million.
According to reports in Portugal, Benfica are already gearing up for his departure, lining up replacements from Argentina and other leagues in South America, focusing especially on Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez from Arsenal de Sarandi.
Garay is likely to get a starting spot in Moyes’ lineup if the move is completed, with either Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic no longer in his plans, if not both of them. Jonny Evans surely deserves some consideration after his excellent work for most of last season, and there’s no doubt Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also players looking to find themselves in the first XI, although Jones can be used across the pitch in different roles.
Garay, 26, has played 15 times for the national side, becoming a more vital member of the team in the most recent World Cup qualifying campaign, and is hoping that his second run with a big European club, after playing for Real Madrid between 2008 and 2011 goes a little better. He was loaned out during his first season with Real, and played a total of only 25 matches in the following two seasons before being sold to Benfica.