Manchester United have rekindled their interest in Nicolas Gaitan for the summer, having failed in their attempts to sign the Portuguese international over the past few transfer windows. The Red Devils are unlikely to have Louis van Gaal in charge after the end of the current campaign, but Ed Woodward has prioritised the signing of Gaitan irrespective of the person in charge at Old Trafford at the beginning of the coming season.
Portuguese publication the Record reports that United are ready to match a £35m ($50m) release clause in Gaitan's contract while fending off interest from the likes of Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg and AS Monaco. The Red Devils have lacked a creative spark in the side since the departure of Angel di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain and are looking to alleviate the void with a move for Gaitan, who has been in impressive form this season.
The 27-year-old has already picked up 10 assists and two goals in the league thus far this season along with three goals in the Champions League and an assist, generating massive interest in him from clubs across Europe. United have struggled to open up defences this season, with their tally of goals among the lowest in the division, which has seen them drop out of the top four. Van Gaal's men are currently in the fifth spot, six points adrift of Manchester City, who are occupying the final European position.
Al Ahli manager Cosmin Olaroiu has confirmed that United had made a €30 (£23m, $34m) bid for the player last summer which was rejected by the Benfica board in anticipation of a higher offer which was not forthcoming. However, the situation is likely to change this time around, with United bolstered by a new kit deal with Adidas, which will massively increase their budget in the summer and help close any pending deals.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is in the driver's seat to complete a move to Old Trafford in the summer, with reports stating that the Red Devils have already initiated talks with the former Chelsea manager. Mourinho is currently out of work after being sacked by the Blues last season but has revealed that he will be back in action soon, fuelling talk over the destination.