Manchester United concede defeat in £21.5m Benfica defender chase

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Manchester United have conceded defeat in their attempts to sign Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay after the Portuguese club demanded £21.5million for his signature, reports the Daily Star.

The Argentina international had been heavily linked with a move to the reigning Premier League champions for much of the summer, but now looks set to stay at Estádio da Luz having been priced out of a transfer.

Former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson was credited with an interest in bringing Garay to Old Trafford last season, and reportedly passed on his recommendation of the 26-year-old to his successor David Moyes.

However, with Manchester United understood to have offered just £12.9million up front - plus a number of add-ons based on the player's success - Benfica have flatly rejected their advances, in favour of keeping Garay in Lisbon.

With Lisandro Lopez lined up as a replacement for Garay in Jorge Jesus's side, the expectation in Portugal was that the former Real Madrid stopper would leave before the close of the transfer window.

But, Manchester United are refusing to meet the valuation placed on the player's head by last year's Primeira Liga runners-up, and will now turn their attention to Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala.

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