Manchester United have reportedly given up on their pursuit of Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, possibly just days before confirming the move. Lindelof prepared to be on the verge of a move to United for £38 million with the fee potentially rising to £42 million depending on his success at Old Trafford. The Swedish defender has been of major interest to United for several months. When United first started taking a look at the player, the club were going through a terrible run of form with Jose Mourinho unable to find a good pairing for Eric Bailly.
However, the recent run of form for Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo appears to have convinced Mourinho to end the pursuit of Lindelof. He would have become one of the most expensive defenders in the world if the transfer had gone through. Still, there is no official confirmation, but BBC’s reports have been fairly accurate. Earlier in the day, Lindelof’s girlfriend (via The Sun) appeared to post an Instagram message that hinted at a swift exit from Lisbon after two years at the club.
Jorge Mendes takes care of Lindelof just as he does with Jose Mourinho, and it is thought that the super-agent was heavily involved in ensuring that his client receives a bumper deal. Lindelof is currently on a contract worth around £8000 per week, but he was set to increase this figure by almost 10 times if he had moved to United. Reports from Portugal (via The Mirror) earlier this week suggested that the player had even agreed to wear the No 2 shirt rather than his favourite No 14 jersey since it is taken up by Jesse Lingard.
Rojo and Jones came in as the centre-back pairing in the 3-1 win over Swansea in early November. Since then, United are unbeaten in the top flight, and this has seen them close the gap on the Champions League places. The club are currently on a four-match winning streak following the 3-1 success over Sunderland on Boxing Day.