Benfica close to agreeing deal over Man Utd target Lindelof
The defender is the subject of a tussle between his present and former clubs, with United waiting patiently ahead of a potential £38m deal
An agreement between Benfica and Swedish club Vasteras regarding Victor Lindelof is close to being completed, allowing the Portuguese side to set a fee for the Manchester United target.
Lindelof has been the subject of a significant approach from Jose Mourinho’s team, with a total package worth around £38 million said to have been prepared by United’s top brass. But the defender’s current club are due to pay a sell-on fee to Vasteras as part of any transfer, and initial disagreements were set to hold up a deal.
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Vasteras were set to step up a complaint with Fifa relating to Benfica’s attempts to renegotiate the 20 per cent sell-on clause as part of an improved deal for the 22-year-old centre-back which would also have seen the Estadio da Luz club insert a hefty release stipulation in a bid to maximise their profit from a sale to United.
However, Vasteras chairman Bengt-Ake Nilsson has admitted to Expressen that he is increasingly confident of a suitable outcome from talks with Benfica.
“We have some hopes. They have increased since we made contact with Benfica,” Nilsson explained to the Swedish publication. “We hope that this will resolve itself in the near future. There is now enough interest from both ourselves and Benfica that we can quickly come to a solution.”
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Should the two sides strike an acceptable deal, Benfica would then be free to negotiate with United regarding Lindelof’s impending move to the Premier League. However, if the Portuguese giants attempt to offset any increased Vasteras pay-off by raising their valuation of the defender, United could well play the long game in waiting to make their move in the summer rather than rushing through a transfer in January.
With Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo having nailed down starting berths since November and Chris Smalling and Daley Blind both on standby until Eric Bailly returns from the Africa Cup of Nations in February, United are under no pressure to sign Lindelof at any cost during the current winter transfer window.
But the success of negotiations between Vasteras and Benfica would move the Swede one step nearer to finally becoming a Manchester United player at some point in 2017.