Manchester United are close to signing Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay. The Mirror believes the Premier League champions have agreed a £17m fee and will announce him as the second signing of David Moyes' reign. United have already confirmed the signing of Uruguay U20 defender GuillermoVarela.
Garay, a former Real Madrid centre-back, is likely to be a long-term replacement for ex-England international Rio Ferdinand, who turns 35 in November. The West Ham United academy graduate signed a 12-month extension earlier this year but is unlikely stay at Old Trafford beyond 2014, at least not in an active first team role.
Incoming United boss Moyes has a number of young options at his disposal, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Rafael and Alexander Buttner available. However, with Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra 31 and 32 respectively, a few more long-term defensive signings may yet be made by United.
Garay's signing, should it be confirmed, will also help provide cover for injuries to key defenders. Sir Alex Ferguson struggled last season to field a fully fit first choice back four and Moyes would clearly prefer not to have such concerns on his mind, in his first season in charge.
Reinforcements in midfield and attack have also been planned with Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund stars Cesc Fabregas and Robert Lewandowski believed to be targets.
Harry Redknapp on David Moyes' Backroom Reshuffle
Meanwhile, QPR manager Harry Redknapp believes Moyes should be allowed to overhaul the backroom staff for the new season. Assistant manager Mike Phelan and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele have left the club, for different reasons. Ex-United and present Everton player Phil Neville is expected to take a coaching role after retiring and, according to Goal.com, Steve Round will take a senior position at Old Trafford.
"I think you need your own people around you. You need to know people are on your side and be able to trust them and talk to them. [Sir] Alex [Ferguson] had a great staff. [But] David loved his staff at Everton and he's brought them with him," he told Manchester Evening News.