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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Transfer news: Barcelona agree deal to sign Portugal defender Nelson Semedo

Right-back to undergo medical with Primera Liga club on Friday after scheduled arrival from Portuguese side Benfica.

Nelson Semedo, in action for of Portugal, will play for Barcelona in the new season. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Nelson Semedo, in action for of Portugal, will play for Barcelona in the new season. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign Portugal defender Nelson Semedo from Benfica.

The 23-year-old right-back will undergo a medical with Barcelona on Friday ahead of what Spanish media are reporting will be a €30 million (Dh125.6m) transfer.

A Barcelona statement said: "Pending medical tests on Friday, the Portuguese international right-back will reinforce Barca's defence.

"Nelson Semedo is one of the brightest youngsters at Benfica. The right-back has progressed quickly to the highest level, both with his club and the Portuguese national side, whom he represented at the last Confederations Cup.

"He was a key player in Benfica's treble-winning campaign and in two seasons has played 63 games, scoring two goals in the Portuguese League and one more in the [Uefa] Champions League.

"At a height of 180 centimetres, Semedo is an attacking full-back with superb physical attributes and he will be the ninth Portuguese to wear the Barca shirt."

LA Galaxy coy over Ibrahimovic

The Los Angeles Galaxy are on the lookout for a "world-class" signing, but manager Curt Onalfo would not confirm whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic was in their crosshairs.

David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane are among the stars to have played for Major League Soccer's most successful side over recent years.

The Galaxy are synonymous with star names but lack such glamour at the moment, with Giovani dos Santos and Ashley Cole the best-known names in a side stuttering in the league.

Ibrahimovic has long been linked with a move to the StubHub Center, with a £6 million(Dh28.5m)-a-year deal reported to be on the table for the injured striker following his exit from Manchester United.

Galaxy manager Onalfo was coy on such talk - "our policy is not to comment on players that are not part of our team" - but was more forthcoming about their grand plans.

Asked if they had room for a marquee player, he said: "Absolutely. We always have.

"The DNA of the Galaxy is to attract world-class players, so we're always looking for one."

Ibrahimovic, 35, is set to be out until the new year after sustaining serious knee ligament damage playing for United in April.

He has since left the club but is doing his rehabilitation under their watch, with his recovery so impressive that Jose Mourinho is said to have sanctioned the offer of a new contract.

Ibrahimovic, who turns 36 in October, was United's top scorer last season with 28 goals. Romelu Lukaku has been brought in from Everton to help fill the void.