Enzo Perez
Perez has been impressive at Benfica this seasonReuters

Manchester United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Enzo Perez following reports of the Benfica star being close to sealing a £20 million move to Valencia in the January transfer window.

Earlier, it was believed that the Red Devils were leading the race to sign the 28-year-old midfielder following reports of the Argentine being interested in teaming up with his international teammate Angel di Maria at Old Trafford.

However, later on other reports indicated that Valencia had also joined the race to sign Perez in January. The Red Devils again emerged as favourites to sign Perez after Valencia reportedly refused to match the £23 million release clause in the Argentine's contract.

But now the Portuguese side seem to have lowered their demands as the Daily Express claims that they have accepted a £20 million bid for Perez. The transfer is expected to be officially announced after the start of the winter transfer window.

This news will certainly come as a big blow to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal as the Dutchman was reportedly thinking of playing Perez in the right midfield position of the diamond formation.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has dismissed speculations of him moving to Manchester United, insisting that the Red Devils have never shown an interest in signing him.

The Dutch centre-back was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford after the 2014 World Cup, with reports of van Gaal being interested in a transfer.

But Vlaar, despite admitting that he did receive some interest from other clubs, insists that the Red Devils are yet to make any enquiries about him.

"There was interest [after the World Cup], but never from the calibre of clubs I would leave Aston Villa for," Vlaar, whose contract with the Villans is set to expire next summer, told Goal.

"Manchester United? I've never heard anything from them. If a club had been seriously interested I would have noticed. That hasn't been the case."