United to trade pair to Benfica for Gaitan

Jason Burt

MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a deal to sign Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, with both Fabio da Silva and Federico Macheda moving to the Portuguese club as part of the terms.

The details of the deal are likely to see Fabio going only on a season-long loan, while Macheda's transfer could be a permanent one, with Manchester United then reducing some of the costs of acquiring the highly rated Gaitán.

Although the figures involved are unlikely to be disclosed, and the deal will not be announced until the season is over, it appears United are valuing Gaitán at more than £20million plus their duo.

While it will be interesting to see where he fits into Alex Ferguson's plans, United have tracked the Argentina star for some time and are now understood to have made their move for a summer transfer.

Gaitan, who can play as an attacking midfielder or left-sided winger, caught the eye in Benfica's Champions League campaign this season when they faced both United and Chelsea.

The 24 year-old has a £38m release clause in his contract and it had been thought that Benfica were attempting to hold out for the full amount to be paid.

However, that was always going to be an unrealistic valuation for Gaitán, despite his undoubted talent, which has also attracted the likes of Inter Milan and Paris St-Germain, while United have been in talks for months to try to structure a deal.