Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly given the green light for the club to lodge a £38m bid for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof.
As reported by The Mirror, the Red Devils have been tracking the 22-year-old for some time now with a view of taking him to Old Trafford.
In turn, it’s claimed that they have offered £34m plus bonuses to prise him away from the Portuguese giants in the January transfer window, despite the fact that he has a clause in his contract which would make him available for £30m next summer.
The Mirror add that United sent scouts to watch the Swedish international in action against Sporting Lisbon last weekend, and that is ultimately when their interest became official.
While it looks as though Mourinho will push ahead and try to wrap up a deal in the New Year, the biggest obstacle standing in his way to signing his first-choice defensive target is the fact that Benfica remain in the Champions League and so Lindelof may wish to stay until the end of the season.
That will be a disappointment to United as they are said to be looking for defensive reinforcements in the upcoming transfer window, and with Eric Bailly absent in January due to the Africa Cup of Nations, it could leave Mourinho short.
The Portuguese tactician has been able to rely on Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones prior to Bailly returning from injury, but ultimately he’ll want to bolster his squad and put in place pieces that fit his ideas of United’s long-term future.
Lindelof seemingly has a place in that vision, but it remains to be seen if United are able to wrap up a deal to sign him ahead of the second half of the season as Mourinho’s men start to gather some momentum with three consecutive wins in the Premier League so far this month.