Benfica stopper in Mel's sights

Last Updated: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 08:25

Pepe Mel is reportedly looking to take highly-rated Benfica defender Andre Almeida to West Brom before the transfer deadline.

The Baggies' Spanish tactician is determined to bolster his defensive options at the Hawthorns before Friday night and it seems he has set his sights on the 23-year-old who has two caps for the Portugal national team.

Reports claim a deal to sign Almeida permanently will not be able to go through before the transfer window closes but Mel will happily take the stopper on loan until the summer and review the situation from there.

Almeida joined Benfica from Belenenses in the summer of 2011, but he has only managed 12 first-team appearances for the club having featured heavily for the Benfica B team while he was also loaned out to Leira during the course of last season.

Therefore it seems he would jump at the chance to join the Baggies if it means the opportunity to play regularly in the Premier League.

If Mel does sign him it could pave the way for England Under-21 defender Craig Dawson to leave on loan.

Wigan are believed to be leading the chase for the 23-year-old who had a successful spell with Bolton last season.

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