Saturday 18 January 2020

Jose Mourinho side-steps questions over a Man United transfer target as reports claim a deal is imminent

Jose Mourinho looking to strengthen his Manchester United defence and a familiar name is back in his transfer mix
Jose Mourinho looking to strengthen his Manchester United defence and a familiar name is back in his transfer mix
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was more than a little evasive as he side-stepped questions about the possible signing of Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, amid fresh reports that he could be on his way to Old Trafford.

Lindelof was strongly linked with a move to United in last January’s transfer window, with Portuguese newspapers suggesting a deal for the 22-year-old Swedish centre-back was close to being thrashed earlier this year.

Now there are fresh stories claiming Lindelof will arrive at United in the coming weeks, with a deal believed to worth around £35, close to being finalised.

Speaking at an event in his native Portugal, Mourinho was keen to avoid talking about Lindelof, yet he did not deny his interest in one of Europe’s most highly rated young defenders.

“I will not say if I want him or not, I don’t think it’s right,” stated the United manager.

“Rui (Vitoria, Benfica's manager) is not going to be happy with another club manager talking about a player who is his, the president would not be happy to see that.

“Lindelof is theirs and as long as he’s theirs, he’s theirs.”

The player was also keen to avoid fuelling rumours of his possible move to United when he was quizzed about his future while on international duty last week.

“There are rumours that there is always, at all times,” he stated.

“I will say the same thing I always do, I have a contract with Benfica. I have played there for five years and really enjoy myself.

“I’m still young and I feel I’m developing all of the time, football down there gives me a lot. So my answer will always be that I get on very well at Benfica and that’s where my focus is.”

United fans have every right to be sceptical about the latest round of rumours linking Lindelof with a move to Manchester after the torrent of rumours that lingered for several weeks at the back end of 2016.

Yet with Mourinho refusing to distance United from the latest batch of rumours, the smoke around this story may soon develop into something more substantial.

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