United set to seal deal for Argentine Defender

New Manchester United boss David Moyes looks set to make his first signing since taking over with Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay set for Old Trafford.

United have been strongly linked with a move for the 26 year old for some time now but they look to have finally landed their man with Spanish newspaper Marca claiming that a deal has now been struck for the Argentine star.

Marca are widely believed to have strong ties to Real Madrid and with the La Liga side due 50% of any fee Benfica receive the reports are carrying extra credence.

Garay is a former Los Meringues star who has emerged from the shadows of a failed spell in the Spanish capital to become world class defender.

Garay began his career with Newell Old Boys in 2004 before moving to Europe with Racing Santander in 2005. His form for the Spanish side saw him seal a move to Real Madrid in 2008 although as part of the deal he was loaned back to his former club for a season.

He finally made his debut for Real in 2009 but the weight of expectations proved too much for the young defender and he struggled to make an impact. A move to Portugal in 2011 provided the perfect platform for Garay to re-discover his form.

Garay won the Portuguese league cup in his debut season with Benfica but suffered heart-break with the Eagles last season finishing runners up in the League, Europa League and Portuguese cup.

Despite his failure to get his hand on a trophy Garay impressed for Benfica and was part of a defence that conceded just 20 goals in 30 league matches last term.

While Benfica would loathe losing the 15 times International they are ready to sanction his departure following the capture of another Argentinean, Lisandro Ezequiel Lopez from Arsenal de Sarandi.

The 23-year-old has joined the club in a £3.5m deal and the defender is set to be joined at the club by another South American, with Sao Paulo left back Bruno Cortez expected to sign a contract with the club in the coming days.

Should United seal a move for Garay then doubts over the future of Nemanja Vidic will no doubt re-surface. The Serbian International endured an injury hit campaign last season and he failed to travel on the clubs tour to Asia as he continues to struggle with his knee.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.