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.
After United's scouting efforts left them satisfied Gaitan could play a major part for them, Mendes has helped find a way through the complications. Gaitan's agent is Rafael Irribarren, though Mendes also concluded the deal which delivered Gaitan to Lisbon, 18 months ago. It remains to be seen what will happen if another club comes in with a far higher offer this summer.