Barcelona are planning to steal away one of Manchester United’s top transfer targets. The La Liga giants are now keeping tabs on Benfica defender Victor Lindelof and may even beat the Red Devils for his services this summer.
Marca, sighting a report from Portuguese publication A Bola, claim Barcelona last week sent scouts to give a close eye on Lindelof and it is certainly not a good news for Jose Mourinho.
The United boss was almost certain that he had secured the Lindelof deal in January but that move quite clearly didn’t see the daylight, but United were still reported to be leading the race to sign the defender in the summer.
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And now Barcelona’s sudden interest could spoil Mourinho’s best-laid plans. Barca boss Luis Enrique needs some defensive reinforcements. Barcelona’s failure to keep the ball out of the back of the net is one of the strong reasons they are forced to trail Real Madrid in the La Liga standings.
Bringing in a young and extremely talented defender like Lindelof would give the Spanish champions an heir apparent for Gerard Pique. His lack of athleticism actually gets more and more exposed as the years go by. No doubt, Pique still is vital for the Catalan giants, but he may not remain as a regular starter in the coming years.
Even if United manage to stave off Barcelona’s interest in Lindelof, they have to pay a huge sum to finalise the deal. Originally, it looked that a bid of £40 million would be enough to tempt Benfica to start talking. But now that price has obviously gone up. Latest reports claim a transfer bid of closer to £50 million may be enough to land Lindelof.
United have to understand they can’t make their transfer plans so public if they are not ready to strike the deal. By coming so close to land Lindelof in January, they eventually gave Benfica an opportunity to set the market price for rest of the suitors.