Friday 20 April 2018

'I hope to play with him' - Curious twist in Victor Lindelof saga as Manchester United star speaks out

Victor Lindelof wins a header for Benfica
Victor Lindelof wins a header for Benfica
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has urged his club to finalise a deal to sign Benfica’s Victor Lindelof and stated his desire to form a central defensive partnership with the Swede.

Reports in Portugal continue to state that United are close to signing Lindelof, yet the UK media have stated that the Old Trafford club have no plans to add the highly-rated centre-back to their ranks in this month’s transfer window. One side of that media divide will be proved to be misguided before the end of this month.

Benfica’s success in reaching agreement with Lindelof’s former club Vasteras over a sell-on clause in his contract in the last few days appears to have cleared an obstacle blocking a potential deal and now Bailly has offered his views on Lindelof’s potential arrival at United.

While his manager Jose Mourinho has insisted he does not need to add another defensive option to his squad for the second half of the season, one of his first choice players seems to believe Lindelof’s arrival would be boost to their ambition.

“I hope to play with him. Hopefully he will help us,” Bailly said of Lindelof, as he spoke at the Ivory Coast’s training camp ahead of the African Cup of Nations.

“He is a very good player. He has great qualities and will certainly do well if he comes to us.

“We have many good central defenders – Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones – but I hope I get to play with Lindelof.”

The futures of Smalling, Rojo, Jones and Daley Blind has appeared to be uncertain in the first half of this season, with the trio experiencing fluctuating fortunes under Mourinho’s watch, yet Bailly appears to be enjoying the heated competition for places in the United side.

“I don’t have a guaranteed place and I know I have to be good to play,” he added. “We’re all fighting to play. I think we have done well. We have done our best.”

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