Official: Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay leaves club tipped for Benfica return

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay has confirmed he has left the club following the expiration of his contract.

There was an irreversible fallout between the central defender and the club, with claims and counterclaims in relation to whether or not he was offered a new and renewed contract this year.

The Argentine moved to the Mestalla in 2016 and made 114 appearances across his four seasons at the club.

“I am eternally grateful…thanks for so much family,” Garay wrote on his Instagram account. “I can never forget what I have lived and enjoyed here. ALWAYS AMUNT!”

 

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Eternamente agradecido… Gracias por tanto familia, jamás podré olvidar lo vivido y disfrutado. ¡SIEMPRE AMUNT! #G24

A post shared by Ezequiel Garay (@ezequielgaray24) on

Earlier this month, Diario AS cited a report from Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha that Benfica president Luis Felipe Vieria has opened talks for the defender to return to the Lisbon giants.

The Portuguese champions want a long-term replacement for Jardel, who is now aged 34, while the future of young star Ruben Dias is also unclear with a host of clubs said to hold an interest in his signature.

Garay himself will celebrate his 34th birthday in September but it looks increasingly likely that he has played his last match for the Spanish club, for whom he has made 114 appearances since his 2016 switch from Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The defender – who also played for Newell’s Old Boys, Racing Santander and Real Madrid – spent three seasons at the Lisbon giants between 2011 and 2014, making 135 outings.

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“Once, me and my wife partied with George Clooney and Megan Fox and came home at 6am. The day after, I scored a goal and assisted against Werder in the Champions League. After I saw that was possible, I wasn’t afraid to repeat it.”– Find out which former Real Madrid star said this right here.

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