Manchester United’s deal for playmaker is front page news in Portugal

Manchester United’s deal for playmaker is front page news in Portugal

Manchester United are close to agreeing a deal for Benfica playmaker Nicolas Gaitan, according to A Bola.

The reports suggest United aren’t far away from completing the signing and that Bebe has been included as a part offer to reduce the price.

Gaitan is a player who has been linked to United countless times over the past few seasons and this isn’t the first time that he has been on the verge of signing for United.

Back in 2012, The Telegraph went as far as to say a £20m deal that included Fabio and Federico Macheda going in the other direction had been agreed.

At this moment in time, nothing is set in stone but Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave this summer.

“He has had a brilliant season at Benfica, scoring some real beauties,” he told The Peoples Person.

“Lots of assists, too. Gaitán is what you’ll call a typical playmaker.

“He’s often criticised for being too inconsistent, but not seen a lot of that this season. Including Bebé a deal could happen at €20m.

“I wouldn’t be too surprised if he left Benfica, even though he has said he’s happy to stay.”

The reports have been covered on the front page of A Bola and suggest United might include Bebe in the deal to convince Benfica to allow the Argentine to move to Old Trafford.

Since joining United at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, the Portuguese winger has looked hopelessly out of his depth and spent the last three seasons on loan including last year where he scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for Pacos de Ferreira. Whether that will be enough to convince Benfica to take a punt on the 23-year-old remains to be seen.

A product of Boca Juniors academy, Gaitan arrived in Lisbon at the end of the 2009-10 season as a replacement for fellow Argentine Angel di Maria who had been sold to Real Madrid and has gone on to establish himself as one of the best players in the Portuguese league.

An attacking midfielder who can also occupy a slightly deeper role and is occasionally deployed out wide, either on the right or on the left in a 4-3-3 formation, Gaitan has won three League Cups, one league title, one Portuguese Cup and the Europa League during his spell at Benfica and was also nominated in the Europa League Team of the Year last season.

While United’s midfield is in desperate need of an overhaul, another attacking midfielder might not top the list of Van Gaal’s priorities with Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj capable of occupying the role.

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About The Author

Dan is a freelance journalist whose passion for European and South American football is only bettered by his love for Manchester United. He covers opinion columns and has also been published on The Guardian.