Manchester United have stepped up their efforts to sign Argentine Ezequiel Garay, reports suggest.
The same reports suggest that Manchester United view the 27-year-old as a perfect replacement for Nemanja Vidic, with the current club captain's contract at Old Trafford due to expire this summer.
27-year-old Garay joined the Primeira Liga outfit from Real Madrid during the summer of 2011 and has played a crucial role in the heart of defence at the Estadio da Luz ever since.
The Argentina international, who will hope to add to his 18 international caps at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the past and is reportedly valued at a hefty £25 million by his current club.
Given the club's somewhat underwhelming start to the 2013/14 Premier League season, it seems almost inevitable that Manchester United will spend heavily to reinforce certain areas of David Moyes' squad this January.
While Saturday's 2-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford certainly acted as a timely morale-boost, it surely will not mask the chronic deficiencies currently festering within the team.