Spanish website SuperDeporte has claimed that long termAi??Manchester UnitedAi??target Enzo Perez is close to joining La Liga side Valencia from Benfica.

The 28-year-old has been linked with the Red Devils since the summer and it had been reported that the Manchester club was going to target him in January but SD says that is no longer feels thatai??i??s a possibility.

ai???Valencia expect the footballer after Christmas. Enzo Perez arrived yesterday to spend the holidays with his family and will present himself (for a medical) on the 29thAi??aiming to debut against Madrid on January 4ai???reports SD.

The news shouldnai??i??t come as a huge blow to Manchester United fans because LvG has already hinted that he wasnai??i??t planning to make many major signings in the middle of the season, suggesting he feels his squad is good enough with everyone fit and available.

Interestingly, Valencia too had been in for the playerAi??since the summer andAi??Perez even commented on their interestAi??after Argentinaai??i??s win over Belgium in the World Cup, ai???There is the possibility of playing for Valencia, who are a great club, but right now I want to be fully focused on the Argentina national team and on the World Cup.Ai??I am very happy at Benfica, I signed the contract renewal before traveling to join the Argentina squad, which shows that I want to keep wearing this shirt.Ai??I am feeling very well at Benfica and I know the club will try to do the best for me. Iai??i??ll respect what they decide.ai???

The midfielderAi??agreed a five-year contract with Benfica in the Portuguese Primeira Liga for a fee rumored to be around ai??i??5.5 million in July 2011.

Manchester United will not take this as a serious blow (we don’t even know if they’re still interested in the player). There is no doubt that the club has more areas to address- defence. Perez, however, could have been a cheaper and good alternative to Kevin Strootman. So while it is not a major blow to Louis van Gaal, it might hurt him just Ai??a little because he is a quality player and wouldn’t have cost too much.

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