According to reports in Portuguese media outlet A Bola, via Sport Witness, Newcastle United are ready to rival Everton and Southampton in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon centre-back Ruben Semedo this summer.
Well, Rafa Benitez is keen to significantly strengthen his Magpies squad this summer following their immediate return to the Premier League, and he looks set to be handed a transfer war chest by owner Mike Ashley after committing his future to the club.
One of the areas he is looking to bolster is at the heart of the defence, and reports in Portugal have suggested that he has sounded out Semedo with a view to moving to St James’ Park.
However, the supposed €45m (approximately £38m) release clause in his contract would throw the rumour into some doubt even though they could probably get him for less than that amount.
The 23-year-old has made 22 Primeira Liga appearances this term, and despite picking up two red cards earlier in the campaign he has still impressed.
A big presence in the air – he has won 55 aerial duels – the defender has made 66 clearances and 57 interceptions while he has also shown he is good on the ball with a passing accuracy of 90%.
However, he has been dropped from the starting line-up by manager Jorge Jesus in seven of their last 11 league matches to show that he still has some improving to do.
It’s difficult to say.
While he is highly-rated it would be something of a risk for Benitez to rely on him coming in and making an instant impact in the Premier League.
The Spaniard has also said that he is looking for players with knowledge of the English top flight, which certainly makes the rumour linking him with Semedo a bit of a mystery, considering he would be a similar addition to Chancel Mbemba in terms of age and experience.
That said, he does have all of the attributes to be a brilliant centre-back and it could be a risk worth taking.
Well, with Benitez looking to sign players with Premier League experience and Sporting likely to demand a high fee for the 23-year-old, a deal for Semedo doesn’t really look like a possibility.
Southampton and Everton are likely show more of an interest in him, and if they did Newcastle would find it difficult to sign him anyway.