Manchester United plan swap deal to secure Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan, with defender heading in opposite direction

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on a swap deal that would see Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan move to Old Trafford, while defender Rafael looks set to head in the opposite direction.

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According to the Daily Express, the 27-year-old’s agent had confirmed that talks were reaching a conclusion, and a move could be imminent.

The Express suggest that the Premier League side have been admirers of the Argentinian even before Louis van Gaal arrived at the club last summer. However, the Dutchman is equally as fond of the attacking midfielder as David Moyes had been previously.

He seems to be less keen on Rafael however. The Brazilian made just ten appearances in the top flight last season, and was often left out, with midfielders Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young taking his place at right-back. The Express report that the 24-year-old is very much open to a move to the Portuguese champions.

Without the full-back as part of the equation, the Express suggest that Gaitan would be available for £21.5m.

He could become part of United’s very different looking midfield next season. The Express report that Bastian Schweinsteiger is close to completing his move from Bayern Munich, and Morgan Schneiderlin is still wanted by van Gaal, despite both likely to play a similar role in the side.

Gaitan will share the attacking responsibilities with another new signing Memphis Depay, as United attempt to end their two season trophy drought.

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