According to Spanish outlet Sport (h/t The Sun), Manchester United have targeted Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo. The full-back has struggled for game time this season, with teammate Sergi Roberto being favoured by coach Ernesto Valverde this season.
With opportunities looking increasingly limited, the Catalonia side are now ready to cash in on the defender, who is available for £42million, the report claims.
The report also adds that the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, wants the 26-year-old to join Manchester United and will use his excellent relationship with the club to secure a transfer.
Meanwhile, the report claims that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United have already opened talks with the La Liga giants regarding the Portuguese’s situation. Semedo has so far started only 11 of Barcelona’s 18 league games this season and has 3 assists to his name.
For someone who was seen and brought in as a replacement for Dani Alves, Semedo’s current situation gives a completely different picture.
Since arriving from Benfica to Camp Nou in the summer of 2017, Semedo has failed to nail down the right-back spot for himself due to the presence of academy graduate Sergi Roberto.
The talented Portuguese, who is playing his third season has to date played a total of 82 games across all competitions for them but has often been used on a rotational basis depending on the team’s requirements.
This has forced the player to look for better opportunities and United, who have been his long-time admirers, have registered their interest in the versatile full-back.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer’s United recently secured Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace last summer as a replacement for former right-back Antonio Valencia.
The young Englishman has impressed since landing at Old Trafford and has grown into a regular and pivotal member of Solskjaer’s side this season.
Including Wan-Bissaka, United now have 3 right-backs, with the other two being young Diogo Dalot and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Both are injured and are currently out of action.
However, the Red Devils’ interest in Semedo might not merely be due to their admiration for the highly-rated wing-back but due to the lack of quality left-backs in their ranks.
Their first-choice left-back Luke Shaw has struggled for form this season and has been persistently troubled by injuries, forcing Solskjaer to rely upon youth player Brandon Williams and old guard Ashley Young.
Though Williams has proved his potential with some promising displays, he is still too young and it would be foolish if United rush him onto the scene, while Young is already 34 and way past his prime.
With the left-back conundrum remaining a problem for them, it does not come as a surprise that the Red Devils have been attracted by the versatile Semedo, who is comfortable playing on the left flank too.
He has already featured 7 times on the left for Barcelona and has given 2 assists, which lays claim to his ability to play on either side of the pitch.
Having proven his mettle, it is no doubt that Semedo is a talented wing-back and Manchester United, given their issues in the wing-back position, could make good use of him if the deal happens.
Semedo could also give good competition to Wan-Bissaka and offer Solskjaer plenty of options to choose from due to his versatility. Hence, the highly-rated Portuguese full-back could be a great addition to the Red Devils.
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