Only a day after it appeared as though progress was being made in Manchester United’s reported pursuit of Victor Lindelof, Jose Mourinho has ruled a move out.
As reported by Expresssen, Benfica and the Swedish defender’s former club, Vasteras, had finally reached an agreement over the sell-on fee that would be due to the latter.
In turn, that appeared to clear the way for the 22-year-old to complete a £42m switch to Old Trafford, as per The Sun, but it appears as though the interest from United’s part is no longer there.
With Chris Smalling available as back-up, the partnership formed by Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones at the heart of the United defence has helped deliver positive results in recent weeks with the Red Devils winning six in a row in the Premier League.
Eric Bailly’s departure for the Africa Cup of Nations was believed to be set to complicate matters, but Mourinho has insisted that he’s content with the options currently at his disposal and so it doesn’t look as though Lindelof will be moving to England this month.
“No, I wait for Bailly,” he told the media on Friday, as reported by Sky Sports. “I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches.
“I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday [against Reading in the FA Cup] I will rest one, against Hull [in Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg] another.”
Mourinho added that he also had Daley Blind as a fourth option while Michael Carrick is capable of dropping back in an emergency so it appears as though he doesn’t believe there is any need to splash out significant money on a new central defender this month.
It’s a huge show of faith in Rojo and Jones who will be under pressure to continue to deliver, but if it does work as planned, then it will likely allow Mourinho to focus on other departments of his squad that he believes still need strengthening for the second half of the campaign.