Enzo Perez is within touching distance of joining Valencia in a €25m deal, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Benfica midfielder has been the talk of Portuguese football this summer with a number of clubs reportedly chasing the player's signature.
The 28-year-old had a stellar season at the Estadio da Luz and has become to be known as one of the finest box-to-box midfielders in Europe.
That was enough to convince Manchester United to enter talks for the player, with Ed Woodward reportedly trying to negotiate a deal with his Benfica counterpart.
However, Manchester United were reportedly waiting to see if Perez would make Argentina's World Cup squad before pursuing with negotiations as they didn't believe they would win a work permit if he didn't.
Perez made the final Argentina squad but it appears Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward's caution has cost them the chance to sign the highly coveted star.
Di Marzio says Benfica and Valencia are very close to agreeing to a €25m deal to take him to Spain where new owner Peter Lim is bankrolling a spending spree. The amount has been agreed with the parties just negotiating on installments and clauses.
It leaves Manchester United fans with a haunting echo of last summer's transfer failures when Woodward and David Moyes failed to sign anyone of significance, which ultimately contributed to Moyes' demise.
Woodward has kept his position but it appears he is not learning the from the mistakes he made only 12 months ago. Di Marzio expects the Perez deal to be wrapped up by Valencia in the coming days.
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