Luis Felipe Viera, president of SL Benfica, has reportedly flown to the UK for talks with Manchester United over the sale of coveted centre-back, Victor Nilsson Lindelof, according to a report in talkSPORT.
The Swede has been likened to Martin Skrtel, presumably a version that doesn’t treat football like a UFC fight, and has been praised for the great strides that he has made over the last few months to become one of Europe’s most sought after youngsters – just a year after almost signing for Middlesbrough.
The 22-year-old featured alongside United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who could play an important part in convincing his compatriot to join the Manchester side who have struggled with injuries to Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly over the course of the season.
Chelsea, who are known to be actively looking for a centre-back with John Terry set to depart, have also been linked with the Swede as well as Juventus. United have been tracking the defender since the summer and are reportedly offering £37m for the defender, £5m short of Benfica’s asking price.
Manchester United’s Swede, Zlatan, is back to scoring freely up front again with seven in his last seven but their inability to see games out and keep clean sheets at times means that they failed to win three of those games. Perhaps Lindelof could be the man to add the extra defensive cover that’ll transform this United season from a battle for top four into a race for the title.
With Bailly injured again, United are expected to stick with their current centre-back partnership of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, presumably until Smalling is fully ready to return.
However, with Rojo hitting the headlines as often for dangerous tackles as for solid defensive performances and Jones unfortunately picking up a bad injury or two over the past couple of seasons, it is easy to see why Mourinho may want to strengthen in that area.