Liverpool boss Benitez wants £10M Garay deal in January

The Guardian says Benitez has been searching for a central defender who can also operate at full-back since Heinze was prevented from making the journey from Old Trafford to Anfield by a Premier League arbitration panel in August.

He has his sights on the £10m-rated Garay, who was linked with United this year, and is contemplating meeting Santander's asking price when the transfer window reopens. Garay, who turned 21 last month, joined the Spanish club from Newell's Old Boys two years ago and won his first - and so far only - cap for Argentina in a friendly against Norway in August.

A centre-half who can also perform at right-back, Garay would initially provide much-needed cover for a Liverpool defence which has wavered at times without the injured Daniel Agger.

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