Barcelona and Manchester City have reportedly joined Manchester United in the race to sign Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo.

Portuguese publication O Jogo have reported that Barcelona and Manchester City are interested in signing Nelson Semedo from Benfica in the summer. The two European superpowers have now joined Manchester United in the race to sign the Portuguese right-back.

Semedo has thrust himself into the spotlight in what is turning out to be his breakthrough season with Benfica. Having established himself as a mainstay in defence for the Portuguese giants, the 23-year-old continues to go from strength to strength, and is now attracting interesting from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

The likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have all been linked with the Portuguese defender in recent months, but Manchester United were believed to be leading the race to sign him. That was until now, as Barcelona and Manchester City have joined the Red Devils in pursuit of Semedo.

Manchester United are keen to recruit a long-term successor to Antonio Valencia, who has been a revelation as a makeshift right-back this season but is also on the wrong side of 30. On top of that, Jose Mourinho has often struggled to replace Valencia this season whenever he needs to be rested.

With Manchester United set to play in four competitions again next season, Mourinho needs to have two top quality right-backs at his disposal to mount sustaining challenges in each of the tournaments. He has, thus, been eyeing his compatriot for a move in the summer transfer window.

Meanwhile, the right side of defence has presented a fair few problems for Barcelona this season, as they have failed to replace veteran defender Dani Alves. Sergi Roberto has excelled on occasions in the position but he wishes to play in midfield next season, leaving the inconsistent Aleix Vidal as the only other available option.

They have, thus, been considering several promising right-backs, with Semedo being one of the top targets being scouted. However, Barcelona and Manchester United have now been joined by Manchester City in the race to sign Semedo, with the Citizens even holding initial talks with Benfica for Semedo.

A man in demand. (Photo courtesy - Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images)

A man in demand. (Photo courtesy – Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images)

City sporting director Txiki Begiristain and Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira were both in attendance to watch Juventus play AS Monaco in the Champions League semifinal on Tuesday when they held discussions over a possible summer deal in the summer.

Pep Guardiola is a known admirer of the player as well, and with the Manchester City boss prioritising the reinforcement of both flanks of his defence, Semedo has emerged as one of the targets for the right side.

At 23, Semedo still has the best years of his career ahead of him, meaning he can become a long-term solution as right-back for all three clubs. His numbers also suggest that he is a menacing presence in the final third alongside being solid in his primary duties, as he has scored 2 goals in addition to providing 11 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions.

The report suggests that an offer of €40 million may be good enough to secure the services of Semedo in the summer. That is an amount that should not deter any of the three sides in his pursuit and it remains to be seen where the youngster heads off to when the transfer window opens in June.

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