Replace Valencia? Man Utd Lead Barcelona in the Race For £50m Full-back
Barcelona are reportedly reluctant to pay the release clause demanded for Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo. The Blaugrana have been put off by the £50 million fee for the Portugal international.
Portuguese source O Jogo (h/t TalkSport) reported how Barca do not want to pay so much for a defender, although Benfica won’t sell unless an interested club activates the clause.
— ㅤ (@Fxrestieri) June 11, 2017
The reports also indicated how Barcelona’s hesitance could prompt another suitor, Premier League side Manchester United, into action: “United, meanwhile, remain linked with Semedo and might now launch a formal approach given Barcelona’s unwillingness to pay over the odds for the highly rated full-back.”
As the reports also detailed, the Red Devils have already taken centre-back Victor Lindelof from Benfica and could now turn their attention towards Semedo. However, the Blaugrana’s need for a right-back is greater.
After all, United are able to rely on veteran Antonio Valencia at the position. The 31-year-old has already extended his contract to remain at Old Trafford for at least another two years.
By contrast, Barca’s options at right-back are threadbare to say the least. Converted midfielder Sergi Roberto couldn’t adapt to the position last season, while Aleix Vidal is recovering from a serious ankle injury.
Semedo is a natural right-back with the pace, energy and technique to fit the expansive game Barca love to play. The 23-year-old provided six assists in the league last season, per WhoScored.com.