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Ezequiel Garay to Manchester United?

There's apparently a 'gentleman's agreement' in place for Manchester United to trigger Ezequiel Garay's £17 million release clause.

Jamie McDonald

Reports are starting to emerge -- the source being Portugal paper Record -- that Manchester United have a 'gentleman's agreement' to pay the £17 million release clause for Benfica's Ezequiel Garay. The 26-year-old Argentine has been linked to the English champions for awhile, though on the surface of things, that never made much sense. First of all, United are as well stocked with central-defenders as they are in any position. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic may be getting up there in age, but both are still quality players. In addition, there's young depth and, again, quality in the likes of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling.

Martin Ferguson -- Sir Alex's brother -- has apparently been scouting Garay for awhile. Though his presence at Benfica matches could also mean that he was scouting the likes of Nico Gaitan, Nemanja Matic, etc.

Garay has been with Benfica since 2011 when he was purchased from Real Madrid. He was a fringe player with the Spanish giants and part of the deal between them and Benfica supposedly means that half of any future transfer fee goes to Madrid -- in this case, if the £17 million to Benfica from United is true, then £8.5 million would go to Madrid's coffers.

Garay is a 6'4" center-back that is thought to be well-rounded. He's scouted to be strong on the ball and according to Michael Cox, 'he's one of the few defenders around who appear equally comfortable against height or pace'. It's important to keep in mind that David Moyes might have much different opinions from Sir Alex (and us) on how he rates United's current crop of defenders. With that perspective, then it perhaps makes sense why he would to bring in his own player that he might rates more highly. Apparently Everton scouts, when Moyes was still with the club, had been to Benfica to scout players so his staff may be quite familiar with Garay.