Manchester City are understood to be linked with Benfica’s top talent, Nélson Semedo, in the coming transfer season.
Manchester City’s chief executive, Txiki Begiristain, was seen at the Champions League semi-final clash between Juventus and Monaco at Turin. Benfica’s President Luis Filipe Vieira was also present for the same game, and suggestions point towards a possible deal talk after the game.
Their meeting was quickly caught on by various local news agencies, like Ojogo, who now claim that Benfica would ask at least €40m for the right-back, considering other lurking European interests – including the Sky Blues’ city rivals Manchester United, and Catalan giants Barcelona.
The move seems to be a high priority one for Pep Guardiola, who seems to be on the lookout to reinforce their full-back positions with younger and faster players. Semedo would be a very neat fit at the right-back position, where City haven’t found a constant.
Manchester City have not looked convincing in defense throughout the season, and young players would help Guardiola mold his dream team. He has previously stated that the present City team is far from perfect. And with the Spaniard having praised the player during his time with Bayern, the deal looks to be a strong possibility.
With Manchester United interested in Semendo as well as Benfica goalkeeper Ederson Moraes to replace De Gea if he leaves for Real Madrid this summer, Guardiola needs to act fast if he wishes to swoop this deal right under their rivals’ nose.
Txiki Begiristain was also believed to be scouting one other full-back for filling the Manchester City ranks during the game at Turin – Alex Sandro.
A bid for Sandro from City was rejected by Juventus last summer, and the transfer continues to look unlikely, as the Bianconeri having shown a sizable profit last financial year, thereby ruling out a monetary-based transfer for the Brazilian national.
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran