'Thank you': Sunderland target announces departure ahead of Black Cats move

Luis Semedo has confirmed his departure from Portuguese giants Benfica as he closes in on a move to the Championship with Sunderland. 

With Amad Diallo returning to Manchester United on the back of an outstanding loan spell at the Stadium of Light, Tony Mowbray’s side may have hard-pressed to repeat last term’s top six finish. 

But with Sunderland acting quickly and decisively in the transfer market – Nectarios Triantis confirmed and with both Semedo and Jobe Bellingham on their way – no one could accuse the Black Cats of resting on their laurels. 

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Triantis joined last week; the Australian centre-half arriving despite interest from Premier League clubs. 

A deal to bring in Jude Bellingham’s younger brother from Birmingham City is progressing nicely. Semedo, meanwhile, has announced his departure from Benfica as the 19-year-old’s contract expires. 

Luis Semedo closing in on Sunderland move

“My association with this huge club has come to an end,” Semedo writes on Instagram. “It was 13 years with an eagle on my chest. There were 13 unique years. I ask everyone and especially the Benfica supporters to understand me. 

“A boy came to the club that I love. (A club) who instilled in me essential values for the man and player I am today. I thank all my colleagues, my psychologist, coaches, delegates, physiotherapists and the other members without exception, as they have made a huge contribution to my evolution. 

“I will carry everyone in my heart for the rest of my life and I will always remember the wonderful moments I lived here. Thank you for making me a better professional and, above all, for enriching this path we share. Eternally grateful. See you someday.

“Thank you very much Benfica.”

According to the Northern Echo, Sunderland are in talks with Semedo’s camp. The Portugal U20 international, who scored four goals in four UEFA Youth League games in 2022/23, is very much the typical Kristjaan Speakman-era signing; young, hungry, affordable and brimming with potential and re-sale value. 

SL Benfica B v FC Porto B - Liga Portugal 2
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

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