United agrees to sign Benfica's Lindelof for €35M fee

Manchester United has struck a deal with Benfica to sign 22-year-old Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof this summer, the club announced Saturday.

Personal terms with the player, however, have yet to be agreed on.

The transfer will cost €35 million to complete, with an additional €10 million to be paid if certain bonuses are achieved, according to Benfica’s official statement.

Lindelof would create a central defensive partnership with Eric Bailly, leaving Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on the outside looking in.

A move for Burnley‘s Michael Keane, who came through United’s academy before starring at Turf Moor, is less likely now that the Red Devils have secured their object of desire.

Stone added a move for Keane is a “no-go.”

United’s interest in Lindelof emerged last year, and despite a crisis in defence during the 2016-17 season, manager Jose Mourinho opted not to seek reinforcements in the January window.

With questions asked of Smalling and Jones’ mentality and commitment, Lindelof apparently became a matter of importance this summer. He has the kind of ball-playing ability that Mourinho’s next-door neighbour, Pep Guardiola, would crave, as well as the presence of mind to deal with high-pressure situations.

Lindelof’s 1744 successful passes in the Portuguese top flight far surpassed any of his contemporaries at the position last season.

He helped Benfica win a domestic double, making 47 appearances in all competitions.

The transfer would represent a huge coup for the Lisbon giant, who signed Lindelof from Vasteras for a minuscule €60,000 fee in 2012.

A dispute over an additional €250,000 payment to Vasteras due to bonuses activated could well mean the Swedish minnow is entitled to a chunk of the money United has agreed to fork over.

In any case, Lindelof would fall short of Benfica’s record sale, set in 2012 when the club received €40 million for Axel Witsel.

EPL | theScore

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