Moyes’ predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, was a keen admirer of Garay, and it was taken for granted that the defender would move to Manchester as Fergie went about strengthening the back-four.
The formerly reliable pair of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are both growing old and appear to be unable to play a long series of consecutive games. The emerging talents of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have shown signs of solidity, but the youngsters have failed to provide the champions with consistency.
Garay himself thought his time in Portugal was up, but claims Moyes was unwilling to pay Benfica’s asking price.
“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,” he said.
“I believe the exit of Ferguson has influenced the deal.”
A possible explanation for Moyes’ reluctance to splash money on the defender is that he has identified the midfield as his team’s weak link. Despite struggling to bring in new arrivals in the summer, there are increasing reports suggesting that the Red Devils will spend big come January.
However, it seems Garay will not appear in the Premier League, as Barcelona are inclined to bring him in as a replacement for the ageing Carlos Puyol.