During the January transfer window it was repeatedly reported in Portugal that Manchester United had agreed an outline deal to sign Victor Lindelof from Benfica. That transfer of course never happened, with the rumours put on hold for the summer.
Then the Portuguese media moved on to Nelson Semedo. Just over a week ago it was reported that Manchester United have a £35m agreement in principle to sign Semedo from Benfica in the summer transfer window.
All the reports are encouraged by Manchester United’s repeated scouting of Benfica, they attend almost every game the club plays. But that may not be quite as obvious an indicator as it often is for other clubs, because Manchester United are repeatedly scouting most Portuguese clubs at the moment.
Nevertheless, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo cover Manchester United sending an official to Benfica’s latest match, and say the targets will have been Semedo and Lindelof. It doesn’t make a great deal of sense, surely Manchester United wouldn’t have agreed to a deal for either player if they were still at scouting stage.
There’s a chance Manchester United have agreed a deal, as reported, and are checking up on their investment. However, it’s likelier they’re still at the consideration stage and Benfica are trying to push them beyond that.
These claims will continue in Portugal as long as Manchester United insist on scouting matches in the country more than they do anywhere else.