Barcelona plan to do at the end of the season what they decided against this past summer in reference to Nelson Semedo. The club kept the right-back for sporting reasons but this time economic reasons will carry more weight and the sporting reasons have also changed with Semedo failing to push Sergi Roberto out of the team.
Movements are already underway. Sporting director Eric Abidal met with his agent Jorge Mendes in Dubai when the Globe Soccer Awards were on -- organised by Mendes.
The first take was that all parties are interested in doing a deal. Barça want to make money to balance their accounts at the end of the season, the player would see his contract improve and would play regularly elsewhere and Mendes would also pocket commission from a potential transfer.
Semedo is one of the Barça players with the biggest market and, in addition, he's not an essential player in Ernesto Valverde's side, as other players who could bring in cash are.
The Spanish champions turned down succulent offers last summer, from England and, above all, from Atletico Madrid. The Rojiblanco wanted to include him in the Antoine Griezmann deal but Barça rejected. Valverde felt the Portugal international would take a step forward this season and become the first choice right-back. He even started the season with Sergi Roberto in midfield. However, Sergi Roberto has once again proven to be much more effective as a full-back.
The Premier League is right now the main market for Semedo. In this sense, Manchester United are one of the ideal candidates to close a deal.
On the one hand, Mendes has a great relationship with the Old Trafford club but, on the other hand, the club spent 55 million euros on young right-back Wan-Bissaka last summer from Crystal Palace. However, the signing of Semedo, who could also play further forward, has not been ruled out.
Semedo's exit would leave Barça with Sergi Roberto and Moussa Wague, but Mendes has put another of his players on the table: Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira.
But Barça don't want to pay the 40 million he is valued at. The intention is to sell Semedo for 50 million and not invest much in a replacement. They would look for a younger, cheaper option, like Real Betis' Emerson, who they already have a stake in.