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Manchester City should look to ‘cursed’ Benfica defender

| 15.05.2014

After winning a first-ever Premier League title in dramatic fashion back in 2012, manager Roberto Mancini made the fatal error of failing to bring fresh faces in at the Etihad.

However, two years on from that victory, his successor Manuel Pellegrini looks set to learn from the Italian’s mistake with a summer of big spending planned at the Etihad once again.

And the first fresh face through the door at Eastlands could well be Ezquiel Garay, the Argentine defender who was previously linked with a January move to the Sky Blues, following an injury to Vincent Kompany.

The 27-year-old is thought to be open to a move away from current club Benfica, with O Glorioso closing in on a domestic treble and Garay keen to compete in one of Europe’s top leagues.

Manchester City won’t be alone in their pursuit of the player though, with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain both thought to be keen on recruiting the former Real Madrid defender.

But with Garay’s contract at the Lisbon club running for another two years, those wishing to recruit the player may well have to spend big.

Despite this, Manchester City are likely to hold the advantage over United and PSG, with the Red Devils unable to offer the Argentine Champions League football while the French side compete in Ligue 1 – a division deemed somewhat inferior to the English top-flight.

European football could be a major factor for Garay, with Benfica currently on a run of eight continental finals without a win – a record that stretches back to a famous 100 year curse put on the club by former manager Bela Guttman in the 1960s.

Any deal for the defender may have to be done quickly though, with City eager to fill the roles of the soon-to-depart duo of Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards.

With Garay more likely to compete with Kompany and Matija Nastasic for first-team football, a move could suit all concerned.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.