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Benfica want to sign Man Utd defender Alvaro Fernandez in January

Portuguese giants Benfica are interested in signing Manchester United defender Alvaro Fernandez on a permanent basis during the January transfer window, according to O Jogo (page 10).

Fernandez was involved for the Red Devils during pre-season, but he was loaned out to Granada after the club secured a temporary deal for Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham Hotspur.

The 20-year-old has since played less than 500 minutes for the struggling La Liga outfit and it is now reported that Benfica are exploring a winter deal for the talented left-back.

O Jogo claim that Fernandez is currently valued at around €7 million. Benfica plan to hold talks with United to assess whether they can secure his signature at the start of 2024.

Manager Roger Schmidt is unhappy with his current left-back duo of David Jurasek and Juan Bernat.

United should keep hold of Fernandez in January

Benfica are known for turning emerging players into potential world-beaters. Over the past year, the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Goncalo Ramos have secured big-money moves elsewhere.

They have a good eye for promising talent and their hierarchy seem to be interested in prising away Fernandez. The club could guarantee the youngster with a consistent starting role.

The former Real Madrid graduate has been a regular off the bench at Granada, but he has still won an impressive 61 per cent of his duels with more than two ball recoveries per game.

He definitely has the potential to become a leading left-back in future. His current contract expires in June 2024, but United have the option of extending his stay for another 12 months.

The club should delay the decision over his future until the summer. The best choice would be to recall him from his Granada loan stint and send him on a temporary deal elsewhere for the season.

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