Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit St. Petersburg are intent on signing Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, who has been a long-time target of Manchester United. The Russian league’s transfer deadline closed last month and despite not being able to wrap up a deal for the centre-back, Zenit representatives have continued monitoring Garay’s performances. The Argentine has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in the last 18-months as the club looks to replace the veteran Rio Ferdinand as well as departing captain Nemanja Vidic. However, they look to set to miss out as the Russian side have intensified their interest. Garay’s representative is none other than super-agent Jorge Mendes who was pivotal in pulling off last January’s shock double swoop which saw Brazilian star Hulk and Belgian hardman Axel Witsel join the St. Petersburg outfit in a 64million deal. While for many, a move to the Premier League may be a far more attractive proposition, Zenit’s strong relationship with Mendes may be the deciding factor as to where the defender ends up.