Benfica have confirmed the signing of right-back Alex Pinto from Vitoria de Guimeraes amid speculation linking Nelson Semedo with a summer move to Barcelona or Manchester United.

Pinto, 18, only made his first-team debut with Vitoria de Guimeraes during the 2016-2017 campaign.

However, the Under-19 international right-back is already highly regarded in his homeland and varying reports suggest that Benfica have identified him as the perfect man to fill the void left by Semedo ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign.

AS has eventually interpreted the signing of Pinto as the precursor to Semedo moving to either Barcelona or United during the summer transfer window.

The Spanish publication says that sources close to Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira have indicated that Barcelona are currently ahead of United in the race to secure the services of Semedo. However, AS understands that the current Benfica right-back is only the back-up plan if Barcelona fail to convince Arsenal to part ways with Hector Bellerin.

It looks clear that the Semedo will leave the Portuguese giants during the off-season but his potential destination remains uncertain amid the mixed news coming from Portugal. O Jogo reported that Eagles chief Vieira travelled to England to negotiate the sale of both him and Victor Lindelof to Jose Mourinho's side.

However, A Bola and Record claim that Barca have stepped up negotiations and were ready to pay up to €50m (£43.6m, $56.2m) to acquire the defender.

Benfica B boss Hélder Cristóvão also added fuel to the speculation linking him with a move to the Nou Camp, claiming that the La Liga giants would be the "ideal" place for the 23-year-old right-back to continue his career. "Semedo has it all," he admitted. "If he signed for Barça, ​​I'd be very happy, because it is the ideal place for him," Cristóvão said last week."