Rio de Janeiro: Highly rated Brazilian defender Marcelo Hermes is set to join Portuguese football club Benfica in Europe’s January transfer window, according to media reports.

The 21-year-old left-back has impressed Benfica talent scouts with his form for Gremio in Brazil’s Serie A this year, reports Xinhua.

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According to the Uol news portal on Monday, Benfica see Hermes as an ideal replacement for Spaniard Alex Grimaldo who is reportedly being targeted by Manchester City.

Hermes’ contract with Gremio expires at the end of the year, thus he can join the Portuguese outfit as a free agent.

A product of Gremio’s youth system, Hermes has made 34 starts for the Porto Alegre club since his first-team debut last year.