Premier League champions Manchester United have offered Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay a massive £115,000 per week to swap Benfica for Old Trafford this summer. The 26-year-old international will pocket a cool £6m per year, should he accept David Moyes' informal offer, according to Goal.com.
Garay, who joined the Portuguese club after failing to establish himself at Real Madrid, made his mark on European football with another Spanish club - Racing Santander - where he earned a reputation as a goal-scoring central defender.
Goal.com believes United will bid as high as £17m for their man, who will be set to replace one of Serbian Nemanja Vidic or ex-England international Rio Ferdinand at the club. Vidic and Ferdinand are both approaching the final seasons of their respective careers and Old Trafford chiefs are believed to be concerned over the lack of cover for their positions, long-term or otherwise.
The defensive problem is worsened by the fact both have been troubled by injuries in recent seasons and Vidic has not travelled on the club's pre-season tour, with sciatica. Moyes does have a few options - Phil Jones put in some good performances under Sir Alex Ferguson last season and Chris Smalling has done reasonably well but he too has questions marks over his fitness - but experienced central defenders are in short supply at the champions.
United have been monitoring Garay for quite some time and, according to Portuguese publication Record, the two clubs reached a "gentlemen's agreement" for the sum of €20m.
There were questions marks over Moyes' desire to complete the deal framed by Ferguson, particularly after the former Everton boss admitted his priority was to strengthen central midfield options. But it now appears the English champions will look to complete Ferguson's last ever transfer for the club.
David Beckham Backs Moyes
Meanwhile, former United and Madrid midfielder David Beckham has backed new boss Moyes to win the Premier League title in his first season at Old Trafford. Moyes faces the daunting task of ensuring Ferguson's winning legacy is maintained.
Curiously, both Ferguson and Moyes have lost their first games in charge of the club. The older Scot was beaten 2-0 by Oxford 26 years ago and the former Everton manager slumped to a 1-0 friendly defeat to the Singha All-Star XI over the weekend.
"It was always going to be difficult job for whoever succeeded Sir Alex because... [but] I'm sure he [Moyes] has had lot of mentoring. He is one of those managers that has always picked up the phone and spoken to Sir Alex," Beckham explained to Sky Sports News.