Over the years, La Liga clubs have plundered top talents from the Portuguese league. Apart from tax related relaxations, the Portuguese or the Latin American players find it easy to settle down in Spain because of language similarities. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when Barcelona scouts make frequent visits to Portugal to keep an eye on the emerging talents from their league.
According to reports from Sport, Barcelona officials attended Benfica’s latest match on Saturday, played at the Estadio Da Luz. The intention was to monitor Benfica players that interest the Catalan club, and especially Nélson Semedo.
Barcelona are looking to sign a top quality right-back, and are showing a keen interest in Semedo. The Lisbon-born defender joined the club in 2012, but in his early years he spent most of the time playing either on loan or for the reserve side.
After making over 60 appearances for the B-team, he was considered ready to be introduced in the Benfica first team squad. He established himself in the starting eleven in the 2015-16 campaign, following the departure of Maxi Pereira. This season, he has made 31 appearances in all competitions so far, and has three goals to his name as well.
Barcelona could face a tough competition from Premier League giants, Manchester United. The Red Devils were reportedly interested in signing him in January, and have allegedly agreed to sign him for a fee of €40m, making the transfer effective the next summer.
Sport have used the term “alleged” as the report of United agreeing a deal with the player broke out in the Portuguese press, and it is not something they can confirm at the moment.
Semedo has distanced himself from speculations surrounding his future. He feels that he is not ready to test himself abroad, and is focussed on continuing his progress with Benfica only. Barcelona are also reportedly interested in Benfica duo Victor Lindelöf, and Ederson Moraes.