Ezequiel Garay
Garay likely to consider leaving Benfica this summer, according to his agent. Reuters

Reported Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay was the subject of at least one January transfer offer, according to his agent, who has indicated the Benfica defender could leave this summer.

The Argentine centre-half has been a long-term target for United and reports have previously suggested there was a 'gentleman's agreement' in place that would have seen him move to Old Trafford last summer.

United's interest has faded since then but with Nemanja Vidic's departure confirmed and Rio Ferdinand also likely to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, David Moyes is expected to bring an experienced centre-half in as part of an extensive squad overhaul this summer.

Benfica refused to listen to offers for the 27-year-old, who has also been targeted by Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg, at the start of the year as he remains key to their hopes of regaining the Portuguese title from Porto. However his agent Rafael Bray has indicated Garay will look for a new challenge after this summer's World Cup.

"Benfica resisted offers so the transfer didn't materialise at this stage, mainly because they wanted to have the best players to be able to fight for titles," Bray was quoted as saying by A Bola.

"It may have been a difficult decision for us to understand but we have embraced it. We will see what happens in the future.

"Right now the market is closed and Garay is concentrating on sporting matters, achieving the best possible results and, of course, having a great World Cup.

"Certainly there will be further discussions in the future to clarify the situation.

"In the summer he will be entering the final year of his contract with Benfica, so logically there will be news.

"But at this moment, I insist, Garay is only thinking about Benfica."

The former Real Madrid defender has been a key component of Jorge Jesus's back line at the Estadio da Luz, helping the club reach the final of last season's Europa League and ensuring his side's presence at the summit of the Portuguese league this campaign.