After strong reports originating from Portugal that Manchester United were on the cusp of signing Benfica’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof, it seems as if Jose Mourinho has had a change of heart. The Portuguese manager has, according to BBC Sport, decided against launching a bid for the 22-year old, and has instead chosen to keep faith in the club’s current defensive options.
It’s something of a turnaround, given how insistent the Portuguese press were that a deal for Lindelof was imminent. Reports suggested that he’d already been assigned a squad number at his new club, too, but they appear to be quite wide of the mark. Mourinho has paired Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, two players who have been dogged by injury and form issues during their time at Old Trafford, but the pair have struck a surprisingly partnership in the heart of United’s defence since October, with just six goals conceded in the club’s last eight league games.
Mourinho seems satisfied with his options, too; Daley Blind and Chris Smalling have both been utilised at centre back of late, and whilst Eric Bailly, who impressed for the season’s first few months will be absent for the start of 2017 whilst on international duty with Ivory Coast for the African Cup of Nations, the former Chelsea boss must have some faith in his squad if he’s willing to pass on Lindelof for the time being.
It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that a deal to bring a player to Old Trafford that was reported to be on the verge of completion has stalled, either. United fans know too well how quickly transfers can change given the intensive coverage that followed Renato Sanches for several weeks before the Portuguese international left Benfica for Bayern Munich, despite many outlets insisting that he was Old Trafford bound.