Argentinian Garay looks ready to switch to Old Trafford.
Manchester United look set to sign Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay this summer after having a gentleman’s agreement in place since January, according to Portuguese newspaper Record.
The Red Devils agreed the transfer in early 2013 but will have to pay the full £17m release clause in the 26-year-old’s contract to land him.
United and Barcelona led the way to sign the former Real Madrid centre-back, before the Premier League club edged ahead of the Catalans in the race.
Now the Argentina international will come in to strengthen an aging central defensive partnership at Old Trafford, with both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in their 30s.
Half of the hefty fee from United will go straight to Madrid, due to the deal Benfica struck up with the Spanish giants when they signed Garay from the Santiago Bernabeu for £4.8m in 2011.
The Argentinian previously spent three years at the Spanish club after moving from fellow La Liga side Racing Santander in 2008 – although the defender did spend his first year as a Madrid player back on-loan at Racing.
Garay could never really establish himself as a first-team regular at Los Blancos however, but since the centre-back’s move from Madrid he has flourished – playing 44 matches for As Águias this season including a Europa League final appearance.
The only issue that may hold up the deal is the fact that the orchestrator – Sir Alex Ferguson – has now retired from his position as boss at Old Trafford, although it’s likely that successor David Moyes will be more than happy to inherit the transfer from his friend.