Manchester City enter race for €40m-rated Benfica defender, talks held in Turin on Tuesday – City Watch

City Watch

Manchester City have held initial discussions with Benfica about a deal for one of Europe’s most highly-rated upcoming right-backs, Nélson Semedo.

The 23-year-old is coveted by a number of big clubs, with Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan known to be interested, and according to today’s O Jogo cover story, Manchester City can now be added to that list.

City sporting director Txiki Begiristain held talks with Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira in Turin last night to discuss how a deal could advance for the player. The two were in attendance as Juventus overcame Monaco to reach the Champions League final, with a number of players on show – including Alex Sandro, Leonardo Bonucci and Kylian Mbappé – known to be on City’s radar.

But Semedo is a new name, not previously linked with the Premier League club. O Jogo claims that after considering Benfica’s Álex Grimaldo for the left-back role, City also want to reinforce the right-back position with Semedo high on their list.

The Portuguese newspaper claims that City have been ‘advised’ to move away from first-choice target Hector Bellerín, who Barcelona appear to be in pole position for, and that Semedo could be acquired for a more realistic fee. Kyle Walker, who the British media have reported to be City’s main target for the right-back spot, isn’t mentioned by the Portuguese publication.

Guardiola has made his admiration for Semedo, a two-capped Portuguese international, public, saying after Bayern and Benfica’s Champions League tie last season, “Renato [Sanches] and Semedo are two fantastic players with a great future ahead of them.”

The talented full-back could be acquired from Benfica for a fee in the region of €40 million (£33.5 million), and if you believe O Jogo, he is now a serious target for Manchester City. Barcelona also have the player high on their list of right-back targets, along with João Cancelo.

Check out Benfica’s number 50 in action. Would you like to see him at the Etihad?

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