Monaco have entered the race to sign Benfica winger Goncalo Guedes, although Manchester United are still the favourites.
According to Portuguese media outlet A Bola, Guedes will still feature for Benfica during their match against Tondela but that could well be the winger’s last game for the Portugese side.
United are said to be in talks with Benfica over a transfer for Guedes, with some outlets even claiming Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira travelled to London for discussions with Guedes’ agent Jorge Mendes over an imminent move for the winger.
However, the A Bola report claims that Monaco have now made their interest in Guedes known and are rivaling Manchester United for his signature. United are still the clear favourites, especially given their relationship with Jorge Mendes, who also happens to be the agent of their manager Jose Mourinho.
Guedes has scored 11 goals in 68 appearances for Benfica since making his debut for the Primeira Liga side in 2014. Guedes is not the most prolific winger, having only scored two goals and picked up two assists in 16 appearances in the league this season, but he is highly-rated in Portugal and has already made two appearances for the national team.
United’s interest in the winger became known back in October, with several other clubs including Juventus, Arsenal and Valencia all said to be scouting the winger as well at that point. However it appears that United are the ones who are most serious about his signature.
Guedes reportedly has a £52m release clause in his contract – which runs until 2021 – but it is unlikely that Benfica will be completely rigid on this figure. Given their long relationship with United and the ties Mourinho and Mendes have to Portuguese clubs, it is not hard to see why they are favourites for his signature.
However, should Monaco outmatch United in terms of how much they are willing to offer, Benfica could still decide to sell Guedes to the French outfit. Given United’s depth in the position Guedes is best suited to, they might wait until the summer to see if they require his services.
Given the sale of Memphis Depay to Lyon, United may be looking to further strengthen that position though, despite what Mourinho says about maintaining control over Depay’s situation.