Benfica’s Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford but the Manchester United hierarchy have decided to pull out from the deal as of now, reports Sky Sports.
According to Sky Sports News HQ, United no longer want to trigger the Lindelof move owing to the return to form of United players and the availability of defenders.
However, Portuguese outlets believe a big money deal to lure him to Old Trafford is still on the cards. Lindelof was left out of the Benfica matchday squad for the Pacos de Ferreira game recently. The 22-year-old Sweden international Lindelof was reportedly United’s prime January target. Sky reported that preliminary talks over the transfer were held between the clubs back in December, but the Red Devils’ winning streak and the upturn in forms of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones has led Mourinho to think the other way.
Benfica manager Rui Vitoria claimed that Lindelof’s absence from Thursday’s match-day squad was purely because of footballing reasons. Vitoria said: “He will be training with us (on Friday). He sat out of the 18 as did others. Leaving out Lindelof was my choice. We have five quality centre-backs.”
“The president knows what to do with the fortunes of the club. There is no player who is not committed to Benfica.”
Lindelof’s agent Hasan Cetinkaya said in December that “there is an offer on the table” for the defender.
The United-Lindelof saga has been a tale of contradictory reports to be precise. Portuguese outlet A Bola and Star claim that United are set to complete the deal in recent times. Benfica president Filipe Vieira is willing to play hard ball as he has warned that the defender will not be sold on the cheap to the Red Devils. Another Portugal outlet, O Jogo claims that Mourinho wants speed in the ongoing negotiations for Lindelof, as he wants to bag the player as soon as possible.
BBC reports that the Red Devils are yet to make a bid for Lindelof and he will not be joining at Old Trafford next month, due to form of defenders Rojo and Jones. On the other hand, Portuball and A Bola report that contrary to reports from British media, United and Benfica still have a €45million agreement for the player.
Photo by Andrea Sartorati