Manchester United step up interest in Portugal International

  • 11 July 2017
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Manchester United have revived their pursuit of Benfica’s Nelson Semedo amid the uncertainty of Matteo Darmian’s future at Old Trafford.

Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is keen to shore up the right-back position this summer after the club were overly dependent on Antonio Valencia last term.

Valencia has performed outstanding well on the right side of the defence in recent years, but Mourinho is still concerned about the lack of backup, should the Ecuadorian break down anytime next season. Ashley Young, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Darmian were utilised whenever Valencia was rested last season, but none presented much confidence on the playing field.

Out of the three, Darmian is a more natural player in the position, but Mourinho opted to restrict him to the other flank, owing to his versatility to feature across the defence. Darmian is currently attracting Serie A interest from AS Roma, and his departure could, in turn, encourage the arrival of Semedo from Benfica.

Portuguese source O’Jogo claims that Mourinho will seek to unite Semedo with former teammate Victor Lindelof, who inked a four-year contract at Old Trafford earlier in the month. Semedo has made 64 appearances for Benfica since his breakthrough in 2015, and he had been linked with a potential move to Old Trafford during the winter transfer window.

Semedo has already managed to rack four caps with the Portugal national side, and a switch to the Premier League could benefit his progress in a similar way to Cedric Soares, who has managed to make the right-back position his own under Fernando Santos. United are currently in discussions over transfer deals for both Ivan Perisic and Alvaro Morata, but neither look closer to signing for United owing to the reluctance to match their respective price tags. Meanwhile, the club could yet offload star goalkeeper David de Gea with Real Madrid hot on the trail of his services.

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