Manchester United have been dealt the latest in a series of cruel blows by top transfer targets, after Enzo Perez categorically denied that he is looking to move away from Benfica this summer.
Reports recently had suggested that Perez was set to become Louis van Gaal’s first signing of the summer, with the 28-year-old being deemed capable of curing the midfield woes that plagued United last season. With interest in the Argentina international high, it was believed that he would look to take his skills onto a bigger stage in the coming months, and with his club only said to be holding out for around €25million, Van Gaal has more than enough cash to push the move through.
Rumours earlier on today had even claimed that the playmaker could be the subject of some sort of swap deal with United, as the Red Devils looks to offload under performing players at the same time as they bring their replacements in. However now, according to the Express, all plans for Perez’s future at Old Trafford will have to be put on hold, as the player himself has taken the surprise route of ruling out an exit from the Estadio da Luz.
“I am very happy at Benfica, I signed the contract renewal before travelling to join the Argentina squad, which shows that I want to keep wearing this shirt,” he told reporters.
"I am feeling very well at Benfica and I know the club will try to do the best for me. I'll respect what they decide."
Perez’s comments, whilst not too damning when taken in isolation, will have certainly given Van Gaal food for thought. The likes of William Carvalho and Toni Kroos have already affirmed that they will be sticking with their respective clubs, and the on-going injury battle facing Kevin Strootman means a transfer before next January is unlikely.
As such United and their new Dutch boss will have to consider their options carefully. Supporters are naturally keen to see new faces arriving in Manchester to kick-start some sort of revival, but the wrong acquisition could every bit as detrimental as if Van Gaal were to purchase no players.