Manchester United target Ezequiel Garay has joined Zenit St Petersburg on a £12million deal from Benfica, Daily Mail reports.

Andre Villas-Boas has moved quickly in completing the £12million transfer of Garay to blow Man United’s chances of signing the defender.

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The centre-back has signed a five-year deal with Russian outfit Zenit, with the contract beginning on July 1.

Zenit released a statement on their official website, which read: “Football clubs Zenit and Benfica have reached an agreement over the transfer of the defender of the Argentina national team.

“The contract has been signed for five years from July 1. The player will join the team after the World Cup.”

After impressing for Portuguese club Benfica the past few seasons, the Argentine has been monitored by many of Europe’s elite.

Garay played a pivotal defensive role in Benfica’s league and cup triumph last season, as well as reaching the Europa League final.

The defender thanked his manager and his team-mates shortly after the deal was announced.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me in these three magnificent years I spent at Benfica,” he told the club’s TV station.

The 27-year-old is currently on duty with the Argentina national team, starting – and winning – in all three of their matches.

 

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