Manchester United close in on Mehdi Benatia transfer

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Manchester United look set for a busy final two weeks of the transfer window with Roma's Mehdi Benatia due to fly in for talks with the club and Sporting Lisbon's Marcos Rojo still trying to force his move to Manchester United after he submitted a transfer request and was omitted from this weekend's squad. 

After letting go of experienced trio Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra (all Champions League winners) go, the need for new defenders was great at Old Trafford.

However, after Saturday's home defeat to Swansea the need looks even greater and it's now desperation for Manchester United.

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Fans can hold their breath as a deal is close with Sporting to bring full-back Marcos Rojo to the club. The Argentine handed in a transfer request to try and force his move and has now fallen out with the powers that be at Sporting, who only own 25% of the player which is why this deal has been delayed as Sporting are holding out for more money due to the fact they will only get 25% of the fee.

Manchester United had matched the players release clause which was £16m however that clause in his contract has said to have expired. Despite that there may be a compromise as Sporting would be open to take £16m and also a player, which is believed to be Nani, who joined United from Sporting in 2007 but has failed to live up to his potential and it's been made clear he is not in Louis Van Gaal's plans.

United were looking to sell Nani with Juventus also rumoured to be interested, however the need to get deals done is greater and with time running out Louis Van Gaal will be willing to let him go on loan and get Rojo in.

With Jonny Evans out injured, United only had two fit recognised centre-backs for their opening game so Van Gaal is desperate to get one in before Sunday, having missed out on Thomas Vermaelen who Arsenal prefered to sell to Barcelona, meaning United turned their attention elsewhere to Roma's Morocco international Mehdi Benatia.

Benatia has emerged as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe and with a £24m bid tabled the player is on his way to Manchester for talks. The only thing that could stop this deal going through is a late bid from Bayern Munich who have shown late interest and could hijack the move.

Van Gaal won't want to finish there as United are still keeping an eye on Angel Di Maria's situation as PSG pulled out of the move, while they are still trying to tempt Juventus into selling Arturo Vidal. However, to match the asking price for either of these players, United will have to sell Wilfried Zaha, Anderson and Javier Hernandez, who have all been linked with the Old Trafford exit door. 

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