Manchester United’s pursuit of Benfica defender Victor Lindelof appears to have taken a new twist with the latest reports claiming the Red Devils are unwilling to match the Portuguese club’s €30 million valuation of the centre-back.
Jose Mourinho’s men had looked destined to land the highly-rated 22-year-old in the January transfer window after reports the club were already closed to reaching an agreement to sign the versatile defender.
Lindelof has been pictured signing a Manchester United shirt for a fan recently as well as being left out of the Benfica squad for their Taca de Portugal clash which has heightened speculation he is on his way to Old Trafford.
A potential stumbling block also seemed to have been overcome with regards a payment to Lindelof’s former club Vasteras, although claims a deal is close now to seem to be premature.
Portuguese newspaper Record are now reporting that Manchester United are unwilling to pay €30m for the defender and insist he will now stay where he is until the summer.
Lindelof is clearly a quality defender, and these types of players appear thin on the ground currently. The 6ft 2in Swede is quick and composed and reminiscent of a superb former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand.
The youngster is being tipped to have a big future and already has international experience, playing in all of Sweden’s games at Euro 2016 last summer, and having already scored his first goal for his country.
However, Mourinho has already hinted that he will not buy a defender in January as he has been impressed by the form of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones.
The much-maligned duo have been thrown together in defence due to injuries to Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling and have performed admirably, helping the club go on a run of victories.
Although Bailly is now on international duty with Ivory Coast, Smalling is now fit again while Daley Blind and Michael Carrick can also play in central defence and represent further options for Mourinho.
Clubs are often reluctant to spend big in January and former United defenders Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra famously found it difficult to settle initially after joining in the winter, before going onto enjoy stellar careers at Old Trafford.
Lindelof is undoubtedly a talent, but United have certainly looked defensively sound in recent weeks, and Mourinho now looks to be prepared to wait until the end of the season before opting to invest further in his squad.