One in, one out at Benfica
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Laurent Robert's arrival in Benfica is to signal the departure of Simao Sabrosa.
Laurent Robert's arrival in Benfica is to signal the departure of Simao Sabrosa, with Manchester United emerging as possible suitors for the Portuguese midfielder.
Robert is in Lisbon to seal a deal with Benfica over a move from Portsmouth, where he has been playing on loan from Newcastle United.
"It will be a pleasure to play in Portugal and I come here to give 100 percent," he told A Bola.
"Benfica are a super-club and it's magnificent to be able to play in the Champions League, I am here for that.
"I came to Benfica because it was a club that were interested in me and now I am going to sign and stay here."
The Frenchman's move should see captain Simao depart but Liverpool have fresh rivals in their bid to sign the classy 26-year-old.
Sources in Lisbon have indicated that Manchester United view the player as a possible long-term replacement for Ryan Giggs, after being impressed with his work in the UEFA Champions League defeat at Old Trafford.
Simao scored with a free kick in that game, although he missed his side's 2-1 defeat of The Red Devils that ended United's European interest for another season.
Liverpool were close to signing the talented schemer in the summer but the deal collapsed at the last minute.
A Premiership switch is high on his list of priorities and it seems certain that he will be quitting Estadio da Luz in the near future, despite Benfica's progress in Europe.