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19/12/2011 09:00

Papers: Gaitan set for United

Ian Herbert writes in The Independent...

£30million Gaitan on way to United
The agent Jorge Mendes has cemented his position as a major driver of Manchester United's transfer business by brokering the deal which is likely to see Benfica's Argentinian midfielder Nicolas Gaitan sign for Sir Alex Ferguson at a price of €35m (£29.3m) next summer. Mendes, who has delivered Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Anderson, David de Gea and Bebe to Old Trafford in the past eight years, is a respected figure at Old Trafford and helped secure the informal agreement which, the Independent on Sunday revealed, should make Gaitan a United player next June. Benfica did not deny the story yesterday. The negotiating process has been complicated by a €45m (£37.7m) release clause, which United had categorically refused to meet, written into a new contract signed by the 23-year-old in October. Gaitan is also one of a number of players at the Portuguese club who are effectively only part-owned by Benfica, a proportion of their economic rights having been sold to the Benfica Stars Fund, a football investment fund set up in 2009 to raise short-term money for the club.

In the Telegraph, Liverpool legend and television pundit Alan Hansen explains why he feels Sir Alex won’t rush in to opening the chequebook during the January transfer window. In his weekly column, Hansen writes: “I suspect he’d rather keep faith with those youngsters who looked so impressive in August and take the longer-term view. The most sensible deals are always done in the summer.”

Elsewhere, United’s 2-0 win over QPR in the Barclays Premier League dominates the back pages with most papers’ carrying quotes from Michael Carrick and the boss, who both discussed the busy festive calendar and the Reds’ title race chances, as first published on ManUtd.com yesterday.

More: Sir Alex salutes central strengthCarrick happy to pay the price | Video: First minute winners

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