Will Nicolas Gaitan move to Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium?
Portuguese newspaper Record claim Manchester United and City scouts were spotted at Benfica’s match against Santa Clara yesterday.
Both clubs were believed to be scouting the Benfica playmaker Nicolas Gaitan, who is very highly rated at the Stadium of Light, and it is thought that a summer transfer is in the offing.
Gaitan can play anywhere across the attacking midfield line, from a position behind the strikers to either flank.
He tends to play on the left flank though, as his magic wand of a left foot can be utilised to glorious effect there.
It is likely that both Manchester clubs would want Gaitan to play in the centre of midfield though should he sign, with particularly Man Utd suffering from a sub-par midfield compared to the rest of the elite top teams.
Indeed, Paul Scholes has had to come out of retirement to aid the Red Devils in their quest to regain the Premier League title.
“Ever since the pre-season, it has been said that Manchester United are following me,” said Gaitan earlier this month.
“Then, Benfica met United in the Champions League group stage and I did not expect that Ferguson would talk about me before and after the game.
“He said Benfica had good players and named me, which is something that makes me very happy. I did not expect to be praised by a coach like him, we all know what he represents in football.
“I am proud that one of the best clubs in the world want me, but I am only thinking about Benfica.
“If the transfer happens, it has to be good for Benfica and myself.”
For Manchester City, the need to sign Gaitan is slightly less clear.
Roberto Mancini’s centre midfield of Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure is an impressively effective one.
Whilst Barry is hardly the most glamorous of players, his disciplined role nicely balances against Toure’s lung busting runs from the middle.
It seems more likely that Samir Nasri will be the man to lose his place on the left hand side of the midfield – or that Mancini would attempt to switch formation from his standard 4-3-3 / 4-4-1-1.