Manchester United are keen on Benfica full-back Nelson Semedo, according to reports

According to the Sun, Jose Mourinho has been keeping track of the Portuguese full-back, and sent scouts to watch Benfica’s Champions League match against Italian side Napoli this past Tuesday.

Although Benfica lost on the night, Nelson Semedo – who also goes by Nelsinho – was one of Benfica’s better performers. He attempted 5 tackles, the most by any player in the game, and also made 7 clearances and two interceptions.

At just 23 years of age, Nelsinho has been one of Benfica’s most consistent performers this season and is quickly earning a reputation as one of Europe’s finest right-backs.

Semedo was promoted from Benfica’s B team last year, but spent a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. He has made 13 appearances for the Benfica senior side in the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season, and has featured in all six of their UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures.

Semedo has also been capped by Portugal, playing the full 90 minutes of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia in October 2015. It remains his only appearance for the national side to date.

TOPSHOT - Benfica`s Nelson Semedo (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Besiktas during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Besiktas Istanbul and Benfica Lisbon at Vodafone arena on November 23, 2016 in Istanbul. / AFP / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

Trading one Red jersey for another? Nelsinho celebrates his goal against Besiktas on November 23, 2016 in Istanbul. Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Mourinho has been shifting around his defence this season and is looking to reconstruct this United side. According to the report, he has marked the young defender as one of the players he wants to rebuild his defence around.

The Manchester United manager has been forced to play makeshift defences on several occasions this season, and has repeatedly been using right-back Matteo Darmian as a left-back. Antonio Valencia, who is Mourinho’s preferred right-back, has been solid this season, but at 31 years of age is not a viable long-term option for United.

The report states that he has scouted Semedo on several occasions, and it is likely that the scouts were there to cast an eye over another United target – Victor Lindelof. The Reds have reportedly already bid for Lindelof, and they may be doing the same with his teammate very soon.

Semedo’s current contract includes a huge buy-out clause of £50 million and runs till 2021, but Benfica may not hold out for the full amount. Price will not be an issue for United though, as the owners and board have backed Mourinho with as many funds as he needs thus far. The record breaking transfer of Paul Pogba is an example of that.

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