Manchester United in advanced talks over £17m Argentine defender

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Manchester United are in advanced talks with Benfica over defender Ezequiel Garay, according to reports.

The Daily Express cite Spanish speculation when claiming that the Red Devils are close to beating their rivals to the £17million signature of the player.

Chelsea have previously been linked with a move, with reports in O Jogo yesterday claiming that the Blues were keen on bringing the 26-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid are credited with an interest in any possible deal for different reasons, according to Marca, with the La Liga champions set to pocket 50% of any transfer fee received by the Portuguese outfit.

Manchester United now seems like a realistic destination, after manager Sir Alex Ferguson sent brother Martin on a scouting mission to watch the player, according to the Express.

The paper goes on to claim that Ferguson is looking for defensive reinforcements in the summer, as the Old Trafford outfit start to prepare for life without Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

Garay, who has 11 caps for his country, would certainly add competition at the back, and would provide Manchester United with additional experience on the Champions League stage.

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