Manchester United target Nelson Semedo has quashed rumours linking him with a switch to Old Trafford, adding he will stay at Benfica for several years.
Recent weeks have seen Manchester United being repeatedly linked with two defensive options from Benfica, with several outlets reporting that centre-back Victor Lindelof and right-back Nelson Semedo are on Jose Mourinho’s radar, with defensive reinforcements a top priority for the Portuguese manager.
However, now it seems like Manchester United fans will have to deal with the disappointment of missing out on two targets in a week. Earlier this week, it emerged that Mourinho had taken the decision to not pursue Lindelof, having been convinced by the performances of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
Today, Semedo has put all the rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United to bed by saying that he will stay put at Benfica. As reported by Daily Mail, Semedo told reporters after his side’s win over Pacos de Ferreira on Thursday: “You [Benfica fans] can rest easy.”
He also said that his sole focus is to represent Benfica, further insisting that he will remain at the club for many years to come. He added: “I’m completely focused on Benfica and I’m hoping to continue here for many years to come.”
There was a feeling around Old Trafford that Jose Mourinho’s options in the right fullback department were running thin after Antonio Valencia was temporarily sidelined with injury. Ashley Young and Darmian deputised for the Ecuadorian but didn’t inspire confidence with their performances.
With that in mind, the £35m Semedo was looked at as an option who could fill in for Valencia and possibly challenge him for a first choice right-back berth. He has impressed at Benfica so far this season, having looked solid in the 22 appearances for the club as well as contributing directly to five goals for his side.
However, Valencia’s return from injury, coupled with his influential displays at the back and going forward for Manchester United have now meant that a fullback reinforcement isn’t as big a pressing need at the moment.
With Semedo’s snub however, if Mourinho continues to be in the market for a right-back, United can turn their attention to some of the other top right-back talents who they have been linked with recently, like Fabinho, Joao Cancelo and others.