Benfica's Victor Lindelof (right) fights for the ball with Sporting's Adrien Silva during a Portuguese league game.
Benfica's Victor Lindelof (right) fights for the ball with Sporting's Adrien Silva during a Portuguese league game. MIGUEL A. LOPES

Man United keen to add Swedish defender to squad

FOOTBALL: Benfica coach Rui Vitoria has refused to rule out the possibility that defender Victor Lindelof will complete a move to Manchester United in the January transfer window.

United is understood to have formalised its interest in the 22-year-old as manager Jose Mourinho seeks to bolster his side's defence.

The deal appears to be moving in the right direction after it was reported that a Benfica group had travelled to England earlier this week to discuss the details of a potential transfer to United.

The Manchester club has not commented but Vitoria has dropped the biggest hint yet that Lindelof is on his way to Old Trafford after publicly stating he is not concerned by the prospect of losing the Sweden international.

"If it happens to a player we will be prepared and we will find solutions,” he said.

"There is always the prospect of someone leaving and it does not have implications on our work.

"It could be anyone. Many of them have a lot of quality and are attractive in the market, especially at their age.”

Reports suggest Benfica is demanding a figure between $65 million and $72 million for the player, which, if agreed to, would make Lindelof United's most expensive defender of all time.

Lindelof, who has 11 caps for Sweden, is expected to play in Benfica's league game against Rio Ave on Thursday (AEST), their last game for two weeks.

Mourinho made it clear recently that he is willing to implement changes to his squad during the January transfer window.

The Portuguese suggested he was "open to listening to offers” for any player and although he insisted he would not force anyone out, the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay have all been linked with a move away from United.

"I am always open to listen to offers for every player,” Mourinho said.

"I am always ready to listen to the players themselves.

"So any player who knocks on my door and is not happy and wants to move, when the offers are correct, I will never stop a player from leaving, even if it is to a rival. No problem at all.”


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