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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ezequiel Garay signs for Zenit

Ezequiel Garay is currently at the World Cup with Argentina.

Zenit St Petersburg have agreed a deal to sign defender Ezequiel Garay from Benfica, believed to be in the region of 15 million euros.

- Transfer Talk: Origi, Campbell stock rising in Brazil

The 27-year-old, who had been linked with a move to Manchester United, has penned a five-year contract with the Russian club and will join up with his new teammates when he returns from the World Cup with Argentina.

The centre-back, who joined Benfica in 2011 from Real Madrid, expressed his gratitude to the Portuguese outfit in a statement on the club's official website.

"I want to thank all those who supported me during these three magnificent years that I spent with Benfica, especially the president [Luis Filipe Vieira], who put his trust in me, and the coach [Jorge Jesus], who helped me grow to a level of which I am very proud.

"Of course, I want to thank as well my teammates, with whom I had the honour of playing with at this club. I will always be grateful to Benfica and all the affection they showed me.

"This is the moment. I couldn't wait any longer but I'll always hold all these moments I had Portugal in my heart. Thanks!"

Garay, who has also played for Newell's Old Boys and Racing Santander, helped Benfica to the domestic Treble last season.

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