Manchester United could make move for Benfica’s Lindelof

Date published: Wednesday 21st December 2016 8:15

Manchester United are not planning huge January splurges but would reportedly move for a long-standing target like Benfica defender Victor Lindelof.

In a bid to avoid another disappointing post-Sir Alex Ferguson season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Old Trafford in the summer before the Red Devils made Paul Pogba the most expensive player of all-time.

Those summer moves cost United around £150million and there is little chance of Jose Mourinho spending anywhere near that amount in January.

According to the Press Association, transfer funds are available but senior sources point to the building momentum, a good age profile in the squad and difficulty of doing deals.

It is shaping up to be a relatively quiet window at United in terms of incomings but Benfica defender Lindelof has been tracked for a while, with reports building over a big-money move for the 22-year-old Sweden international.

Southampton captain Jose Fonte has also been mentioned as a potential defensive reinforcement, with Chris Smalling returning from a foot complaint and injured Bailly soon heading to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Despite the defensive concerns, the makeshift pairing of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones has worked well of late and helped United win three straight Premier League matches – the kind of run those at the top of the club had felt were coming despite the frustrating results earlier in the campaign.

There had been a feeling within Old Trafford that the team was not far away from clicking and that signing a clutch of players was not the answer.

Last week Mourinho suggested players would only arrive to fill the void of those seeking a move and Press Association Sport understands numerous clubs have contacted United regarding January moves for their players.

Memphis Depay has been strongly linked with a move to Everton, with Morgan Schneiderlin also said to be interesting Ronald Koeman, one of his managers during his long stint at Southampton.

Fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger’s future remains unclear despite his surprise return to the first-team fold, having fallen so far down the pecking order he was written off as an asset in the accounts.

The 32-year-old midfielder was a victim of Mourinho’s desire to have a tight squad, but the Portuguese was won over by his professionalism, diligence and leadership qualities.

It is understood every option is open in regards to Schweinsteiger’s future heading into the transfer window. Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire last month held talks with the former Germany captain.

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