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Barcelona to battle Ligue 1 giants for 19-year-old Portuguese forward

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Photo courtesy: SL Benfica official website

Barcelona have their sights set on a number of young prospects within Europe and outside as they look to add youth players to the squad and turn them into superstars.

Only earlier today we reported that Barcelona are still continuing to track Brazilian wonderkid Estevao Willian and see him as an interesting player for the future.

Jose Melro on Barcelona’s agenda

Now, Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona are interested in SL Benfica youngster Jose Melro, but face competition from Ligue 1 club Lille.

Melro, 19, currently plies his trade for Benfica’s reserve team. The young forward has netted 11 goals in 14 games for the B team, but is yet to get a breakthrough into the senior setup.

The versatile forward, capable of playing anywhere across the frontline, has a contract that expires in 2025 and has shown no indication of renewing, which is claimed to be one of the reasons why he has not been promoted to the first team yet.

Now, Melro’s potential and his contract situation have alerted several teams with Barcelona and Lille among his admirers.

Difference in Barcelona and Lille’s plans for Melro

The report states that Barcelona’s idea for Melro, if they are to sign him from SL Benfica, would be to have him join the Barça Atletic roster under Rafa Marquez.

With promotion to La Liga 2 looking likely, the plan would be to have him in the reserve team for next season before gradually integrating him into the senior setup.

Unlike Barcelona, Lille plan on having Melro thrust into the first-team squad right away. With Jonathan David likely to leave in the summer, the Ligue 1 giants see Melro as a possible replacement for him.

It remains to be seen how things develop and whether Barcelona are serious about their interest in signing Melro in the coming months.

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