Benfica B boss Hélder Cristóvão has backed promising defender Nelson Semedo to complete a move to Barcelona ahead of next season. Manchester United and Manchester City had also been linked with his services in recent weeks but Cristóvão said that the La Liga giants would be the "ideal" place for the Portugal right-back.
Semedo, 23, has been considered as one of the next big things to emerge from the prolific Benfica academy since making his debut for the first-team back in August 2015.
Cristóvão had previously played a key role in his development, overseeing his conversion to a right-back despite having originally operated as a winger.
Semedo is tipped to make a big-money move to one of Europe's biggest clubs during the upcoming summer transfer window and his former boss believes that there will not be a better place from him than Barcelona.
"Semedo has it all. If he signed for Barça, I'd be very happy, because it is the ideal place for him," Cristóvão said to the BTV as quoted by A Bola.
The comments from Cristóvão come amid reports in Portugal claiming that Barcelona are in advance negotiations to secure the services of the full-back ahead of the 2017-2018 season. Both A Bola and Record are reporting that Barcelona are ready to pay up to €50m (£43.7m, $56.1m) to make him the first signing of Ernesto Valverde's era at the Nou Camp.
Last month, Spanish publication Sport claimed that officials from the La Liga giants had held talks with the Portuguese champions over the right-back. The news from Portugal comes as a surprise amid speculation Arsenal ace Hector Bellerin was the Catalans priority transfer target.
Furthermore, in recent weeks other sources have suggested Semedo could move to United alongside teammate Victor Lindelof. O Jogo reported earlier this week that Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira had travelled to England to negotiate the sale of the two defenders to Jose Mourinho's side.