Barcelona have reportedly tabled a €30 million bid to sign Nelson Semedo from Benfica this summer.
Portuguese outlet Record have reported that Barcelona have ended their interest in Hector Bellerin after Arsenal informed them that the Spaniard is not for sale. The Catalan club have turned their attention back to Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo, and have lodged a €30 million bid to secure his services.
Semedo enjoyed a stellar 2016/17 season as he finally managed to establish himself as a regular fixture for both club and country. In fact, the player played an instrumental role in Benfica’s second successive Liga NOS triumph last season.
Barcelona have offered Benfica 30m euros for right-back Nelson Semedo (23). Robert has contacted the club to begin negotiations. pic.twitter.com/rVLbVkWTix
— M·A·J (@UltraAutistic) July 12, 2017
Additionally, Semedo also contributed to his team’s cause with two goals and 12 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions with his marauding runs down the right flank often making him a menace for opposition defenders.
Needless to say, a strong campaign has seen the 23-year-old being thrust into the spotlight, making him a highly sought-after player in the transfer market. The likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich have been heavily linked to the player. But, Manchester United and Barcelona have been the leaders in his pursuit.
At Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho has been eyeing Semedo for a move this summer despite Antonio Valencia continuing his impressive displays at right-back. The chief reason for his pursuit of his compatriot is a severe lack of depth in the position, especially with Mateo Darmian being linked to a summer exit.
However, Manchester United are likely to lose the race to sign the player, with Barcelona launching the offensive for him. Indeed, the Blaugrana have been in desperate search of a right-back following their struggles to adequately replace Dani Alves who departed from Camp Nou last summer.
Aleix Vidal has failed to adapt to the challenges at Barcelona and has, thus, not managed to establish himself as a regular in the first-team setup at the club. Sergi Roberto, though, did a commendable job in a makeshift role last season, although he often struggled to cope against pacy players.
Official: Benfica right-back Nélson Semedo(1 goal & 6 assists in 31 Liga games) has been awarded Liga NOS’ Revelation of the season 2016/17. pic.twitter.com/EpMPoH8dRi
— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) July 8, 2017
Nevertheless, the 25-year-old gave a good account of himself as a right-back over the course of the campaign. But widespread reports have claimed that Roberto is set to be deployed as a midfielder in the forthcoming season by Ernesto Valverde and so, a right-back is top priority for the Barcelona boss.
His primary target thus far has been Hector Bellerin who has been heavily linked to a return to his former club this summer. But, Barcelona have been repeatedly told by Arsenal that the player is not for sale, forcing them to set their sights back to Semedo who at 23, can be a long-term solution on the right side of defence.
And the Blaugrana have made a decisive move in their attempt to sign the player, having lodged a €30 million bid. While the figure is some way off Semedo’s €60 million release clause, it remains to be seen if Benfica accept the aforementioned bid or ask Barcelona to raise their offer.