Manchester United may have to reassess their January transfer plans after reported target Enzo Perez agreed a deal to move from Benfica to Valencia in a deal worth in the region of £23.5million.
According to the Daily Star, Louis van Gaal was keen on the Argentina midfielder and he was one of the names on the Old Trafford list of transfer targets for the upcoming winter window. Now he will have to strike the 28-year-old’s name off the list and look elsewhere.
“Valencia Club de Fútbol and SL Benfica have reached an agreement for the transfer of Enzo Nicolás Pérez, on a permanent deal that will be made official on January 2nd, 2015. The move is subject to the player passing a medical,” read a statement on the Spanish side’s official website.
"The Argentinian international will arrive at Manises-Valencia airport at 11.25pm local time and will undergo a medical tomorrow under the supervision of the Valencia Club de Fútbol medical team."
Perez has impressed at Benfica since arriving there in 2011 after completing a switch from Estudiantes in his native Argentina. Valencia’s billionaire owner Peter Lim was reportedly very keen on him and has got the deal done early to avoid any interference.
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Manchester United could have been one of those clubs to complicate things for the Liga outfit, but his decision to move to the Mestalla would suggest there was no concrete off from the Premier League giants, whose financial power dwarfs that of Valencia, even with a billionaire owner.
Van Gaal is still expected to make one or two more additions to his squad once the window opens at the turn of the New Year. United are now third in the Premier League after recovering from a torrid start, but a genuine title challenge seems unlikely in their current guise.
Despite the upturn in form of late, there are still obvious vulnerabilities in Van Gaal’s team and his options from the bench are currently not having a huge impact when called upon. Central defence is also an area that may need attention, as injuries and form have seen them look especially vulnerable there.
One thing is for sure, the Old Trafford board are ready to back Van Gaal financially with significant sums should the right players become available. The willingness to spend big was evident in the summer with the additions of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo costing in therein of £150million.