Manchester United and Arsenal scouts were reportedly present during Benfica’s 2-1 derby win over Sporting Lisbon on Sunday. United scouts have frequently visited Portugal this season, and they have kept a close eye on Benfica’s trio — Victor Lindelöf, Nélson Semedo, and Gonçalo Guedes.
According to reports from ESPN, Arsenal’s primary intention to visit Lisbon was to check on Guedes, who is one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe after impressing for Benfica over the last 18 months.
Guedes, 20, is regarded as one of the top prospects to emerge from Portugal in recent years. He has a reported £40m release clause in his contract, and his playing style has drawn him into a comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lindelöf has been frequently linked with United this season. José Mourinho, the Red Devils’ manager, is actively looking to bolster his defensive options in January. Sunday’s game at the Estádio da Luz also allowed United scouts to watch over right-back Semedo.
The Red Devils scouts may have also watched Sporting’s Gelson Martins, as the talented winger has been on United’s radar after the club watched him on several occasions this term. However, Benfica are unlikely to part ways with any of their key players in January. The Eagles are under no pressure to cash in on any of their star players.
At the same time, they prepare to take on Borussia Dortmund in the round 16 of the Champions League in February and March, and the club will want their key players to perform at their best around that time.