EXCLUSIVE: Manchester clubs wage £25m war for Gaitan
Published 22:30 24/03/12 By Steve Stammers
The two Manchester clubs are set to wage a £25million war for Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan.
Both United and City will watch the 24-year-old in Lisbon for the Champions League first-leg tie against Chelsea on Tuesday.
Gaitan is one of the most exciting talents in the Portuguese league and made a huge impression when he played against United in the Champions League group stage this season. The Argentine cost just £7.5million when signed from Boca Juniors two years ago.
Now, he is worth more than three times that amount. Gaitan – capped six times by Argentina – has a buy-out clause of 40million Euros in his contract.
But Benfica will take a little more than half of that amount at the end of the season.
Gaitan is comfortable playing on either wing.
“We believe that Nicolas is going to England in the summer,” said a Benfica source.
City have more than enough funds to secure Gaitan and he would have been highly recommended to manager Roberto Mancini by another Argentinian at the Etihad, Sergio Aguero.
But United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is also an admirer of Gaitan and is ready to do battle with City to get his man, who would be ideal as the long-term replacement for veteran star Ryan Giggs.