Manchester United & Chelsea both watching Rodrigo

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Football News

Manchester United and Chelsea have both dispatched personnel to watch Benfica star Rodrigo, reports suggest.

According to The Daily Star,  scouts from each club were present to watch the £25m-rated striker during the Europa League Last 16 second-leg tie against Tottenham Hotspur at the Estadio da Luz on Thursday night - disappointingly for them, however, he started and finished the game on the substitute's bench.

23-year-old Rodrigo joined the Primeira Liga giants from Real Madrid during the summer of 2010.

While he struggled to impress initially at Benfica and even had a season-loan spell with Bolton Wanderers in 2010/11, the former Spain U21 international has enjoyed a run of good form under Jorge Jesus this season and has hit 10 goals in all competitions to date.

Chelsea - who currently sit proudly atop of the Premier League prior to Saturday's clash against title rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge - are widely expected to be in the market for a new striker when the transfer window opens once again this summer.

Veteran Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o - who has improved massively of late, it must be said - is not generally expected to remain at the club following the expiration of his one-year deal, while Fernando Torres continues to be linked with a potential return to La Liga and Atletico Madrid.

With former Newcastle marksman Demba Ba also not thought to be held in particularly high-regard, it is certainly no surprise to see Chelsea casting their eyes over potential forward reinforcements.

Manchester United and David Moyes' need for a new striker does not seem as apparent, but it is certainly no secret that Robin van Persie's future has been the source of near-constant speculation throughout a difficult season at Old Trafford.

Even if Van Persie were indeed to remain at the club beyond the end of the 2013/14 campaign, Rodrigo's versatility is such that he could easily be deployed anywhere across the frontline.

News of Manchester United and Chelsea's interest in Rodrigo is likely to come as a blow to rivals Liverpool, who have also been recently linked with the player.

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