Manchester United scouts sent to familiar territory as Brighton target steals limelight

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Manchester United reportedly sent scouts to Lisbon last night to keep tabs on the Primeira Liga clash between Benfica and Boavista, as they continue to cast an eye over Portuguese talent. The division has proved to be a hotbed for star quality over the years and that’s something United, of course, know well, following the captures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Anderson, Victor Lindelof and Bruno Fernandes respectively.

Other Premier League clubs including bitter rivals Manchester City have also done their fair share of shopping in Portugal in the past few years.

Ruben Dias, Ederson and Eliaquim Mangala all secured moves to the Etihad following extensive scouting.

Having won Euro 2016 and the inaugural Nations League in 2019, the Portuguese national team has also enjoyed plenty of success within the past five years, despite a disappointing showing at Euro 2020.

That’s why Premier League clubs will continue to watch the likes of Benfica, Porto and Sporting in action as they shape future recruitment plans.

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Newspaper O Jogo are reporting that United sent some of their scouts to the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on Monday to watch The Eagles beat Boavista 3-1.

While there was no information on who exactly United were keen to keep an eye on, it was Brighton target Darwin Nunez who stole the show.

The Uruguayan frontman netted twice and was the Man of the Match as he recorded his third and fourth Primeira Liga goals of the season.

Nunez had a challenging first season at Benfica following his move to the club last summer from Almeria in Spain.

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He was the subject of a transfer tug-of-war that summer when Brighton saw a bid of £22.4million rebuffed by the Segunda Division side.

Benfica would eventually win the race for his services but that didn’t stop Brighton from reigniting their interest this summer as they explored a deal once again but to no avail.

Sport Witness also note that Lucas Verissimo, Nicolas Otamendi and former Borussia Dortmund man Julan Weigl – who scored – also impressed.

United were not the only English club present either with Blackburn Rovers also in attendance.

Inter Milan, Sevilla and Torino were among the other clubs at the game.

United have shown a tendency to keep a watchful eye over the Portuguese top-flight ever since the signing of Ronaldo from Sporting in 2003.

Fernandes was also extensively tracked before United eventually sealed a January deal worth a reported initial £47m (plus add-ons).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current stars Lindelof and Diogo Dalot were also watched closely during their time at Benfica and Porto respectively before United tabled the cash to sign them both under Jose Mourinho.

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