Despite spending £150 million in the summer, Manchester United continue to be linked with a number of players as the January transfer window approaches. Fullback seems to be an area of interest, with Nelson Semedo amongst the names linked with a move, according to the reports from the Mirror. The Portuguese plays with Benfica and he is widely seen as someone at the top of United’s wish list. Even though Antonio Valencia has been doing a fine job on the right side of the defence, he is not a natural defender.
Mourinho is not happy with the imbalance created by playing the attack-minded Luke Shaw at left back along with Valencia who also has offensive thoughts. The Portuguese boss always likes either one of his fullbacks to be defensive and the other to be offensive.
Furthermore, Matteo Darmian is expected to be one of the first casualties when the January transfer window opens up. The Italian defender has been unable to establish himself in the first team. In fact, he is nowhere near Jose Mourinho’s first-team plans. United offered young right back Timothy Fosu-Mensah a new four-year contract only recently, but the 18-year-old can only be described as one for the future.
Darmian is expected to be sold along with a number of top players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Semedo is reported to have a £40 million release clause in his contract. It is highly unlikely that United – nor any other club – will pay this figure. United, of course, are not the only club chasing the defender, but the scouts from the Premier League giants were spotted watching the player in the recent 2-0 win over Belenenses. They are believed to be in pole position ahead of Arsenal, who also are keen on signing the 22-year-old as a backup for Hector Bellerin.
A Portuguese international, Semendo made his debut in the Euro 2016 qualifying game against Serbia back in 2015. Since then, however, he has not had much of a look in the Portuguese national team. The player is waiting for a move to a big club which would give him more opportunities to features national team. He is unable to get into the squad of the Euro 2016, and it is highly likely that Semedo may be signed only as a backup for Valencia.
Benfica will be able to benefit from two big clubs being interested in one of their players. The Portuguese club are unlikely to let Semedo leave for less than £15 million. The 22-year-old has been with the Portuguese outfit since 2012 after having signed from Sintrense. He has made 12 appearances in all competitions for Benfica this term and has been one of the best players in the team.