Barcelona are reportedly close to agreeing on a move for Benfica’s star full-back Nelson Semedo as the La Liga giants aim to fill in the voids to challenge for the title next season. New manager Ernesto Valverde has handed over his transfer requirements to the Barcelona board and a right-back stands at the top of the priority list.
The Catalans were left out of position following Dani Alves’ departure to Juventus last summer. Former manager Luis Enrique planned to replace the Brazilian with Aleix Vidal and Sergi Roberto, but the duo failed to make any impact whatsoever in that role. Copa del Rey was all Barca could garner and their missing out on the domestic title was mostly due to defensive errors.
Enrique’s men conceded 37 goals last season, which is more than the likes of Atletico Madrid and Villareal who have finished the season below them in the league table. And most importantly, it let Barcelona down against weaker opponents like Deportivo Alves, Celta de Vigo, Deportivo La Coruna and Malaga CF.
The losses came back to haunt them as they missed out on the title to Real Madrid by just three points, and Barcelona are looking to return with vengeance next season. Valverde had names like Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta on the list, but a move for them looks unrealistic next season.
23-year-old Semedo has been next on the list and he is one of the hot prospects this summer following his phenomenal display in Benfica’s title-winning season. Semedo has been unstoppable and tireless on the right defensive flank for Benfica catching the attention of numerous European sides that include Europa League winners Manchester United.
His aggressive approach and superior technique could be just what Barcelona needs at the back right now. And he is immensely productive from the wide areas too, which is indicative of his number of assists last season. In 47 appearances for Benfica in all competition, Semedo has scored 2 goals provided 12 assists.
Semedo moved to Benfica on a free transfer in 2012. After a short loan stint with CD Fátima, the player has been in Benfica’s lower ranks before he broke into the first team in 2015.
As per reports, Barcelona are willing to pay as much as £43 million for the player, who is definitely a thrilling future prospect for the club. And Benfica would more than happy to seal the deal for that amount, for a player they acquired for free. However. Barcelona won’t have it easy though, as United have elaborate plans to sign Victor Lindelof and Semedo for a record fee this summer.
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