Barcelona have reportedly dashed Man United’s hopes of landing Benfica star Nelson Semedo.
According to Portuguese outlet Record, the La Liga giants are in advanced talks with the defender in their attempt to bring him to the Nou Camp. Should a deal between the two clubs happen, it would be a massive blow to United, who have been keen on bringing the defender to Old Trafford for quite a while now.
The Red Devils have also been keen on signing his teammate, center-back Victor Lindelof, but have been tracking Semedo for a longer period.
Semedo, who plays as a right-back, has a release clause in his contract with Benfica worth around £69 million. However, United believe that they can convince the Primeira Liga champions to bring down the asking price, as they seek to do a double deal and sign both Semedo and Lindelof for £83 million – which would value the latter at around £37 million.
Barcelona, though, are set to offer Benfica around £43 million to secure the 23-year-old’s signature, and seem to have the upper hand in the bidding war at the moment.
Missing out on the Portuguese defender will come as a big disappointment to United boss Jose Mourinho, who has been desperate to strengthen and shore up his defense – particularly in the full-back area.
With Luke Shaw failing to convince Mourinho and Matteo Darmian the only other proper cover for Antonio Valencia, the English club is short of options at the back, and Semedo was seen as the perfect fit.
The right-back made an incredible total of 47 appearances for Benfica last season, managing to score 2 goals in the process. He also managed to assist his team-mates on 12 occasions – a brilliant total for a defender.
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