Nicolas Gaitan
Gaitan was being heavily linked with Manchester united in the summerReuters

Manchester United have been boosted in their attempts to sign Nicolas Gaitan following reports of Benfica reducing their asking price for the playmaker.

The Red Devils had tried to sign the 26-year-old Argentine in the summer, but they were forced to give up the chase after Benfica refused to accept anything below £36 million (the amount in the midfielders' buy-out clause).

However, now, according to the Daily Mirror, Benfica are willing to part with Gaitan for a cut-down price £28 million, reviving Manchester United's interest.

United boss Louis van Gaal is believed to be targeting the Argentine as a replacement for Spaniard Juan Mata, who is expected to leave Old Trafford in January after not being able to impress the Dutchman this season.

Although United spent a whooping £37.1 million to sign Mata from Chelsea in January, they are reportedly prepared to sell him for a reduced price of £20 million in the upcoming transfer window, with defending Spanish champions Atletico Madrid believed to be interested in the former Valencia man.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have been dealt with a blow in their pursuit of PSV winger Memphis Depay following reports of Real Madrid joining the race to sign him in January.

PSV manager Phillip Cocu recently admitted that the 20-year-old Dutchman is likely to leave them and move to a bigger club in January.

"Of course Memphis will be sold, you can't stop that but it's okay," Cocu told the Express. "It's great you can build up a player like him, who breaks through, succeeds at PSV then leaves the club when he's ready for a bigger step. That's great."

And United were thought to be the favourites to land Depay in the winter transfer window due to van Gaal having strong connections with the winger, who worked under the former Barcelona boss in the Dutch national team.

But the Red Devils have been dealt a big blow in their attempts to sign Depay due to European champions Real Madrid entering the race, according to the Express.

The young midfielder has been in high demand following his excellent performances in the 2014 World Cup, where he was included on the three-man shortlist for best young player of the tournament.