Manchester United were close to signing two Benfica players in January, only for the club to end the window quiet in terms of new arrivals. Defender Victor Lindelof and midfielder Goncalo Guedes were the two players linked with the Red Devils during January. While the former ended up staying at Benfica, Guedes joined Paris St Germain for around £21 million. Now, it seems that United have agreed a £35 million fee (Via The Daily Star) for another Benfica defender – Nelson Semedo. The right-back has emerged as a key transfer target for the club considering that he would fill in a spot where reinforcement seems essential.
Antonio Valencia has been doing the job at right-back, but he is not a natural in the role by any means. Even though he has been playing in this position for quite a while, Jose Mourinho seems to reckon that this is an area where the club can be improved.Timothy Fosu-Mensah is the replacement for Valencia, but the Dutch youngster does not seem to be in the plans of José, even though he was given a four-year contract only this season. Even if Fosu-Mensah does figure in the plans of Mourinho, it may not be until a couple of years that he starts to play regular first-team football.
Nelson Semedo is a 23-year-old right-back, and he would fit extremely well with the requirements of experience and youth at Manchester United. His transfer fee does seem extravagant for a player who has made only one appearance for the Portuguese national team, but his lengthy contract may be a major factor behind Benfica being in a strong position to negotiate.
Semedo has a contract with the Portuguese outfit until the summer of 2021. He signed this long-term contract back in December 2015. He has been a first-team regular at Benfica, making 19 appearances in the league and scoring one goal. More importantly, the raiding runs of Semedo has resulted in the player contributing four assists.
An attribute which makes him perfect for United under Jose Mourinho is the ability to even play as the left-back if necessary. He can also push forward and play on the right side of the midfield, thus providing the team with a lot of versatility.