Benfica have completed the signing of Morocco international Mehdi Carcela, another potential replacement for Manchester United target Nicolas Gaitan.
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Following the recruitment of playmaker Adel Taarabt earlier in the week, Portuguese giants Benfica have completed the signing of the ex-Queens Park Rangers man’s international teammate.
Carcela moves to Lisbon on a four-year deal having previously featured for Standard Liege over two stints and for Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for two seasons.
The 25-year-old, speaking to Benfica’s official website, expressed delight at having moved to one of the “biggest clubs in the world, known in the four corners of the world.”
Having recruited both Carcela and Taarabt, the door appears to be opening for the Eagles to offload Argentina international Nicolas Gaitan.
— Sport Lisboa Benfica (@SL_Benfica) June 13, 2015
O Jogo [via the Metro] reported on Friday that the addition of Taarabt pushed Gaitan closer to the exit door at the Estadio da Luz, and the subsequent arrival of Carcela—who can play across the midfield—further enforces the expectation that the Argentine is on his way.
Gianluca Di Marzio is just one source to have reported that a deal had already been agreed between United and the player, and were in the process of agreeing a fee with the Portuguese heavyweights.
Gaitan—who is a versatile operator who fits van Gaal’s ideal profile of a player—could be a valuable addition to the Red Devils as they seek to return to the pinnacle of the English game.
The likes of Javier Hernandez [Daily Star], Robin van Persie [ESPN], Nani [TalkSPORT] and Angel Di Maria [Express] have all been linked with the exit door at Old Trafford this summer, with the club likely to be in need of considerable offensive reinforcement this summer.
27-year-old Gaitan featured 27 times for Benfica in the Portuguese top flight last season, scoring four goals. Before moving to the Stadium of Light he featured for Boca Juniors in his homeland.