United close in on Benfica winger

Posted on Jun 18 2014 - 11:18am by Staff Writer

Gaitan

Manchester United have moved a step closer to the signature of Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan, according to fresh reports in the Porugese media.

A Bola claims a deal could be close as Red Devils representatives continue to negotiate with the 26-year-old’s club.

United’s lack of creativity was pinpointed as a major problem in their torrid 2013-14 campaign, which saw them finish seventh in the Premier League table and bow out of the domestic cup competitions prematurely.

They also exited the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, ending the season without a trophy, and sacked manager David Moyes in April, less than a year after handing him a six-year contract.

Holland head coach Louis van Gaal has since been named as the Scot’s permanent successor despite being on World Cup duty with the national side in Brazil.

His absence from England has, according to the report, not hindered the three-time European Cup winners’ hopes of adding to their squad in the summer transfer window and Gaitan is not expected to be the only player they pursue.

The departures of long-serving centre-halves Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic has left van Gaal desperately short at the heart of his defence, and acquisitions in that area are likely to be a priority in the coming weeks.