Manchester United have been dealt a crushing blow in their bid to sign 16-year-old forward Umaro Embalo, with RB Leipzig leading the race for his signature, reports Bild via The Sun.
The talented teenager, who is yet to play a senior game for Benfica, impressed against United in the UEFA Youth League. The Red Devils’ chief scout Javier Ribalta and Head of Development John Murtagh were both in attendance to watch Embalo last month.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have been monitoring his progress, but reports in Germany suggest a move to Leipzig could be on the cards after talks were held between club officials. Benfica have requested £16m for the teenager’s signature, with many tipping him for a bright future in the coming years.
Losing out on him will be a real disappointment for United manager Jose Mourinho, given how much work the scouting team are putting in to land this transfer. The 16-year-old’s agent, Catio Balde, revealed talks had taken place with the Premier League giants and Benfica, but stressed no agreement was made.
“He has interest from several clubs, because he is an asset of Benfica and has gone down this route well. I can say that all the great clubs in Europe have already asked for information about Umaro, from Germany, England, Spain, France,” he said.
“If he’s going to Manchester is something that I don’t know at all. But it’s true that we have already met with Benfica and Manchester, there is no agreement, but there are conversations.”
Embalo still has 18 months left on his current contract with Benfica, and is fast becoming one of the hottest properties in Europe. Leipzig are willing to spend money on recruiting some of the best young talent in world football, and Bild think they’ve done to procure the signature of the Portuguese u17 international.