Manchester United given free run at Argentine defender

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Manchester United appear to have been given a clear run at Ezequiel Garay, amidst reports that transfer rivals Manchester City have set their transfer sights elsewhere.

The Daily Express cite speculation in Portugal when claiming that the Citizens are now considering other options because of the defender’s price tag.

Benfica will only allow the player to leave for £25million – the release clause in his contract – and Manuel Pellegrini believes the figure is too steep.

Indeed, the Manchester City boss is now looking at Nicolas Otamendi, who is described as a ‘more economical option’ for the club by the paper.

The Citizens hierarchy spotted the player during a scouting trip to Portugal, and could now look to beat their rivals to his signature in January.

Manchester City have had problems in defence this season, with injuries leaving the title chasers stretched at the back at the Etihad Stadium.

Garay doesn’t appear to be an option any more though, which leaves the door open for Manchester United to try and land the player in the New Year.

The Red Devils were linked with a move for the player whilst Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford, but David Moyes’ arrival appeared to put the knockers on a potential move.

However, recent reports have claimed that Manchester United are once again keen on the Argentine international, and the path is now clear in the Premier League to try and strike a deal.

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