Manchester United are close to securing a £29.3million deal to sign Benfica midfielder Nicolás Gaitán at the end of the season reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The 23-year-old Argentine international has been monitored by the reigning Barclays Premier League champions for a few months, and has been identified as a player to help resolve the club's lack of creative midfield options.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with Gaitan's performance at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League, and it is now believed that the Portuguese club have struck an informal agreement with Manchester United over his sale at the end of the season.
With Gaitan's former club Boca Juniors entitled to 20 per cent of any sell-on transfer fee, Benfica have been holding out for the player’s full £38miillion release clause, written into his renegotiated contract two months ago.
However, Ferguson has made it clear that Manchester United will not meet that valuation, and despite the club's current injury crisis, they are prepared to wait until the summer to complete the deal, rather than push through an agreement when the transfer window reopens in January.
Long-term absentees Tom Cleverley and Anderson are progressing well from their respective ankle and knee injuries, with both players set to return to action early in the New Year, though United will be without the services of Darren Fletcher for the foreseeable future after the Scottish international announced he will be taking an indefinite break away from the game last week.