Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Argentine defender will entire his final contracted campaign with the Portuguese club next season, and is expected to leave in the summer in order for the club to receive a transfer fee.

And David Moyes’ side are in pole position to secure Garay’s signature, ahead of Manchester City and Zenit. The 27-year-old will replace Nemanja Vidic, who has already revealed he will join Inter Milan in the summer.

United want the deal for Garay to be sealed at the end of the season, before the defender joins up with Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi for the World Cup. The Argentine has a £17million release clause in his contract, although Moyes is hoping the Red Devils can spend less due to the centre-back’s contract situation.

The former Real Madrid defender has been linked with United for some time, and could be part of a defensive shake up at Old Trafford, with Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra’s futures in doubt at the current Premier League champions.

Garay’s agent confirmed the defender isn’t thinking about a move until the end of the season: “In the summer he will be entering the final year of his contract with Benfica, so logically there will be news. But at this moment, I insist, Garay is only thinking about Benfica.”

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