Report: Nottingham Forest plan second Benfica raid for 25-year-old midfielder
By Matt Farr
Nottingham Forest are considering a move for Benfica midfielder Pele before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, according to a report.
Forest and Benfica have formed a healthy relationship in recent years, with the Portuguese side often becoming the first point of call in the transfer market.
The club also landed defender Hildeberto Pereira on loan from the Estadio de Luz back in the summer.
The Sun now claim that midfielder Pele could be the latest name to make the switch from Lisbon to the east Midlands.
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The former Portugal U21 international is one of several midfield targets that have been lined-up by caretaker boss Gary Brazil to replace the influential Henri Lansbury, who quit the club to join Aston Villa little over a week ago.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 20, 2017
Pele has yet to feature for Benfica this season, due to an injury, and spent the last campaign on loan at Pacos de Ferreira where he contributed four goals and five assists from 33 appearances in all competitions.
However, given his lack of action in the current campaign, manager Rui Vitoria may see fit to let his crocked star leave the club in search of more regular football, having got ample midfield options already at his disposal.
Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, have money to spend, and are hoping to conclude several deals before the transfer window slams shut on Tuesday night.
Football Insider verdict
Despite a lack of match time this term, Pele can be a valuable player for Nottingham Forest as they seek to reaffirm their Championship status. He does not look a part of Rui Vitoria’s long-term plans at Benfica, and could be available either on loan or for a reasonable price. He would add steel to the Nottingham Forest midfield, and could be influential in both the defensive and attacking areas of the field – much like Lansbury was. Brazil currently has very few options at his disposal, and is in desperate need of one or two more players; but time is fast running out. Pele will be readily available, and could do a decent job. With spells at both AC Milan and Benfica, Pele has yet to really establish himself at the top-level, so a move to a second-tier side like Forest could be the best way to go.
In other Nottingham Forest transfer news, the club are lining up a sensational triple-swoop.