Benfica’s centre-back Ezequiel Garay claimed that he was set to join United for a fee believed to be around the £18m mark this summer, until David Moyes refused to match the Portuguese club’s asking price, deeming the Argentinian defender as too expensive.
“I believed I was going to join Manchester United in the summer. The deal was nearly closed but finally Benfica did not accept the offer.
“I believe the exit of Ferguson has influenced the deal. Moyes did not believe in me as much but that’s not a problem,” Garay told the Mirror.
“I am happy at Benfica and have a lot of dreams and ambitions for this season. Now I only think about the present which is Benfica but it’s never possible to discard anything in the future.”
Garay had been on Sir Alex Ferguson’s radar for months and United reportedly enquired about the 27-year-old’s availability last January, before deciding to finalise the deal over the summer as Sir Alex had identified the need to bring in an experienced defender, yet one younger than Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
United’s back four has looked unsettled so far this season, with Ferdinand and Vidic struggling to meet their own high standards, which has seen United conceding nine goals in seven Premier League games, as the Reds have so far managed only three clean sheets in all competitions – at home against Chelsea and Crystal Palace in the league and against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup.
Despite Ferdinand and Vidic’s poor form, Moyes has used Jonny Evans sparingly, preferring Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to the Northern Irishman, but neither Jones nor Smalling seem mature enough to establish themselves as regular centre-backs just yet.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s obvious how a centre-back like Garay would have been more than useful for Moyes.
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