Umaro Embalo
Portugal Under-17 international Umaro Embalo being tracked by both United and Real Madrid. Getty

Manchester United are interested in signing Benfica youngsters Umaro Embalo and Joao Felix, according to reports.

Jose Mourinho's side made it three wins from three after Marcus Rashford's freak free-kick sealed a win at the Estadio de Luz on Wednesday (18 October), all but ending Benfica's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Earlier that day, United and Benfica's Under-19 sides clashed in their Uefa Youth League match, with Joshui Bohui snatching a late draw for the away side after superb solo equaliser.

Javier Ribalta, one of United's most high-profile additions off the field during the summer after arriving from Juventus as a chief scout, was one of the interested observers during their contest.

According to the Independent, Ribalta made the journey to the Caixa Futebol Campus to watch over 16-year-old Embalo, who United have been closely tracking. The forward came on as a 65<sup>th minute substitute but was able to help his side see out a victory.

Back in May, Portuguese publication Record initially reported United's interest, also claiming Real Madrid are closely tracking the player. Their report described the teenager as a "priority target", with both sides increasing their efforts to bring in young talent before they become household names.

Overseen by head of youth academy Nicky Butt, United have upped their efforts to secure the most-talented young players from the United Kingdom and abroad over the last year. Among those to sign for the club this summer are former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Aliou Traore, former Chelsea youngster Di-Shon Bernard and Northern Ireland Under-17 captain Ethan Galbraith.

In September, the club also confirmed the arrival of 16-year-old Spanish talent Arnau Puigmal, who is already making rapid progress in Kieran McKenna's Under-18 side.

Similarly, Real Madrid have made marked efforts to change their transfer policy in recent years, looking to sign promising young players they can ease into the first-team, with Marco Asensio a prime example of its current success.

United are also said to have been impressed with Embalo's teammate Joao Felix, a talented midfielder who have been compared to Benfica great Rui Costa. 18-year-old Joao Filipe is another to have crept onto the Premier League side's radar, but having just recently signed a new contract until 2022, his immediate future would appear to remain in Portugal.