RB Leipzig are set to sign Umaro Embalo in a €15 million deal this month, beating Manchester United to the Benfica wonderkid in the process.
According to a report by German publication Bild, Manchester United have lost the race to sign highly-rated Portuguese sensation Umaro Embalo. RB Leipzig have agreed a €15 million deal with Benfica for the 16-year-old, and the deal should be completed before the transfer window shuts down next week.
Umaro Embalo is regarded as the brightest prospect to emerge, not just out of the fabled Benfica academy, but the entirety of Portugal itself. At the nascent age of 16, the player has already made rapid strides within the youth setup at the club, while also captaining the Portugal under-17 side, for whom he has 7 goals in 13 appearances.
This season, Embalo has reached on the cusp of breaking into the first-team setup at Estadio da Luz, and has made a splash in the UEFA Youth League as well. And it is in the aforementioned competition where Manchester United’s interest had piqued for the Benfica wonderkid.
The Red Devils were drawn in the same group as the Portuguese giants, and they just didn’t have the team officials keeping a keen eye on Embalo, but chief scout Javier Ribalta as well. With the initial signs being highly positive, Manchester United have reportedly taken steps to land the player.
Widely reported by the Portuguese press that Benfica have agreed to let their 16-year-old winger Úmaro Embaló join RB Leipzig in a €20m deal. Benfica president L.F. Vieira traveled to Germany yesterday to finalize the deal. pic.twitter.com/RnU44oR9Sa
— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) January 18, 2018
That the player has drawn comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani – two of Manchester United’s most successful signings of the 21st century – has only enhanced the club’s belief in him. But, the Premier League heavyweights also have the need to find a long-term solution on the right wing.
Manchester United have signed Alexis Sanchez, but it is unclear where the Chilean will be deployed. Even if he is played on the right wing, Sanchez will only be a medium-term solution, justifying the club’s interest in Embalo, who could possibly stay for a decade – or more.
There were initial reports that Manchester United had struck a deal for Embalo, but it looks like they’re now facing defeat in his pursuit. As per the report, RB Leipzig have moved ahead of the Red Devils in the race to sign the teenage prodigy, having struck a general agreement with Benfica for the player.
Last week, the East German club’s director of Sport Ralf Rangnick had jetted to Lisbon and Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira flew to Leipzig by private jet for more talks, and it looks like those talks have reached a positive conclusion, with a €15 million agreed.
Leipzig do have Marcel Sabitzer on the right wing, but are likely to still offer a quicker route to first-team football to Embalo than Manchester United, where he will have to bide his time within the youth setup before finally breaking into the first-team squad.
So, Manchester United’s long drawn out pursuit of Embalo seems to be headed towards defeat, and they would need to turn their attention elsewhere to find a long-term solution on the right wing. As far as the player is concerned, his next destination looks to be Leipzig.