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Meet the £10.8m Benfica back Liverpool and Man Utd covet

| 19.03.2015

Rumours of a Premier League stampede for Benfica youngster Joao Cancelo have been going around for some time now, with Chelsea and Liverpool both linked to the 20-year-old right-back at the end of last term before his season-long loan switch to La Liga outfit Valencia over the summer.

Cancelo’s Los Che campaign has gone well enough for the Blues and the Reds to be joined by Manchester United in the race for his services, according to the Daily Star, who believe Benfica would be willing to do business in the next transfer window if a £10.8m offer comes in.

Mestalla chief Nuno has only allowed Cancelo seven starts in all competitions for the Mediterranean coast club, but it’s clear from the video below that the Portugal youth regular has a bit about him:

Valencia currently sit third in La Liga, five points clear of fifth-place Sevilla, having won 10 of their last 13 Spanish top-flight matches.

Cancelo has featured in five of his temporary employers’ past 10 fixtures, despite being sent off in their 1-0 loss at Malaga seven weeks ago, and has carved out four goal-scoring chances for teammates during that run.

He has been touted as a potential long-term replacement for Uruguayan hardman Maxi Pereira at the Estadio da Luz, so the English trio reportedly chasing his signature will do well to bring down Benfica’s price tag.

Both Liverpool and United, who face off in the Premier League this weekend, are in need of a new number one right-back, with neither Anfield duo Glen Johnson and Javi Maquillo, nor Old Trafford pair Antonio Valencia and Rafael Da Silva, thought to be particularly fancied by bosses Brendan Rodgers and Louis van Gaal.

Chelsea’s need seems somewhat less great owing to Branislav Ivanovic’s presence, although there is no natural cover in the position beyond first-choice left-back Cesar Azpilicueta.

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Alex Fortune