Last Updated: Fri, 08 Mar 2013 13:53
Manchester United have 'intensified' their interest in Benfica centre back Ezequiel Garay, according to reports in Portugal today.
Lisbon-based newspaper A Bola claims United are stepping up their interest in the Argentinean after Martin Ferguson watched him in action against Beira-Mar at the weekend.
The United manager's brother may have been watching him, but how much insight he would be able to glean from his performance against the bottom-of-the table relegation candidates is open to debate.
United have been linked to half the Benfica squad in the past couple of years, but have not made a move for any of them with the Portuguese press becoming very quick to publicise the presence of an Old Trafford spy because of the knock on affect on other clubs.
Garay, 26, has been in fine form this season and has rebuilt his reputation after falling out of favour at Real Madrid earlier in his career.
Rio Ferdinand is out of contract at the end of the season and may leave, despite Sir Alex Ferguson's recent suggestion that he might accept a more limited role next season.
Ferguson is planning to phase the 34-year-old out to give more opportunities to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Michael Keane, but would like to retain the former England skipper's experience in the squad.
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.