Barcelona signs Nelson Semedo; Real Madrid gets Dani Ceballos

Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer, left, and Benfica's Nelson Semedo challenge for the ball during the Champions League round of 16, second leg, soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Benfica in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (Michael Probst/AP)

MADRID — Real Madrid secured the transfer of up-and-coming midfielder Dani Ceballos on Friday, while Barcelona reinforced its defence with Portugal’s Nelson Semedo.

Madrid announced it reached an agreement with Real Betis to acquire the 20-year-old Ceballos, who it says will sign a six-year contract.

Ceballos was named the best player of the Under-21 European Championship last month, when he helped Spain reach the final before losing to Germany 1-0. He came up through Betis’ youth squads and joined its first team in 2014, scoring two goals in 31 games last season.

Ceballos will have to compete with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Francisco "Isco" Alarcon for playing time.

Neither Madrid nor Betis disclosed the price of his transfer to the European and Spanish champions.

Barcelona also said it struck a deal with Benfica for the transfer of 23-year-old right back Semedo for 30 million euros ($34 million).

Semedo helped Benfica win two Portuguese league titles, and has three goals in 63 appearances across all competitions. He also played for Portugal in the Confederations Cup.

Semedo will be expected to start at right back, a position filled by midfielder Sergi Roberto last season following Dani Alves’ exit a year ago.

"(Semedo) is a young player but one with experience in the highest competitions," Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu said. "We were looking for a right back for some time, and now we have one."

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.