Newcastle were linked recently with Sporting Lisbon center-back Ruben Semedo by Portuguese outlet A Bola and it looks like we are still in the race to sign him and may even be in the lead.
The 23-year-old Portugal U21 international is one of Europe’s best young defenders right now and he has both the skill and positional sense to become an excellent player in the future.
23 year-old Ruben Semedo – center-back target
He has a rather ridiculous release clause of €45M in his contract, but no club is going to pay anywhere near that for the player who has come through Sporting Lisbon’s famed Youth Academy.
A Bola are now reporting that it is almost certain that Semedo will leave the Portuguese club in the summer and it could be the first club that gives them a good offer who could get the outstanding young center-back who can also play in defensive midfield.
Southampton and Newcastle are the two club said to be most serious about the player and the Saints will be selling Virgil van Dijk for really big bucks this summer and need to bring in a replacement.
Southampton are now in a fairly strong financial position after a number of years in the top flight in England and they get big money from selling some of their stars each summer.
They should be able to challenge Newcastle, who won the Championship last season and need to strengthen the team ins most positions including central defense.
The final Sporting Lisbon game was a 4-1 home win against Chaves yesterday and that could be the last game the 23 year-old plays for the club he has been at since 2009.
Everton have also been credited with an interested in the player, but A Bola are reporting they think it’s between Newcastle and Southampton as to where he will move to this summer.
We have to think that Rafa Benitez with the full financial backing of owner Mike Ashley is a huge draw for young players who want to improve their game.
So if Rafa really wants Ruben Semedo at Newcastle then we would expect the club to bid for him very soon, but he will not come cheap either.
What do you think?