Manchester United have tabled a late offer to beat their transfer rivals to the signing of Enzo Perez, it has been claimed today.
Benfica midfielder Perez was believed to be close to securing a move across the border to La Liga outfit Valencia after the club supposedly agreed to match his £23.7 million release clause but now, according to reports cited by The Daily Star, the Red Devils have swooped in with a late bid of their own to meet that aforementioned price tag.
28-year-old Perez - an Argentine international who is currently at the World Cup in Brazil and replaced Angel di Maria during the first half of his nation's quarter-final victory over Belgium on Saturday evening - was believed to be a target for previous Manchester United manager David Moyes, yet the same source claim that they were put off any potential deal by Benfica's unreasonable demands.
A dismal 2013/14 Premier League campaign that saw Manchester United reduced from reigning champions to seventh-placed finishers led to Moyes' dismissal, of course, along with the appointment of experienced Dutch coach Louis van Gaal as his permanent replacement.
The arrival of such a reputable figure in the Old Trafford dugout only served to heighten expectations among fans prior to the opening of the summer transfer window, with Van Gaal believed to be in the market to significantly boost the club's ailing midfield.
Manchester United have already completed the signing of one new midfielder this summer, with Athletic Bilbao star Ander Herrera - another player previously courted by Moyes - having moved to England last month for a fee believed to be in the region of £29 million.
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Does Perez fit the bill?
An experienced and solid midfield presence with an eye for a pass, Perez - who previously represented both Godoy Cruz and Estudiantes before switching to Europe in 2011 - enjoyed a superb season for Benfica last time out, winning the club's Player of the Year award and playing a vital role in their domestic double triumph.
Whilst it would arguably not represent quite as exciting or imaginative a capture as the likes of budding Sporting Lisbon rock William Carvalho, Perez would be a solid purchase for Manchester United at a time when they are in obvious need of several new recruits.
Manchester United fans, what do you make of this reported bid for Perez? Is he a player you would like to see Van Gaal sign, or would you prefer he prioritised the pursuit of slightly more high-profile targets? How would he fit in to your current midfield? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.