Manchester United are set to secure the signature of Benfica defender Victor Lindelof for a fee of €45 million, Goal can confirm.
Jose Mourinho has earmarked the centre-back, who has won 11 caps for the Swedish national team, as a key target ahead of the January transfer window; with reports suggesting that the club’s scouting team have watched Lindelof extensively throughout the 2016-17 season.
Goal understands that United and Benfica have agreed a package that will see the Premier League club pay €40m up front for the 22-year-old, as well as a potential €5m in add-ons.
Lindelof is set to earn €3.5m-per-year over the course of a five-year contract at United, with a weekly wage of €67,000, having previously earned €200,000-per-year at Benfica.
The Portuguese club are set to turn a huge profit on Lindelof, after signing the player from Vasteras SK for a fee of €100,000 in late 2011.
Lindelof is set to play his final game for Benfica this week, against Rio Ave, after the club’s president Luiz Filipe Vieira travelled to England to finalise the details of the deal earlier this week. Vieira was accompanied by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has United manager Jose Mourinho on his books as a client.
United’s deal for Lindelof has generated no shortage of intrigue, with former winger Jesper Blomqvist claiming that the player could become as good as Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford.
"I was watching the November match between Sweden and France on TV and caught a glimpse of Jose Mourinho in the stand and my first thought was that it could only be Victor Lindelof he was looking at,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
"My second thought was what a great signing that would be for the player and Manchester United. It would be perfect.
"He's quick, confident with the ball, likes to play and is very strong. For United fans, I think the best comparisons would be with Rio Ferdinand and Ronny Johnsen. I'm not saying he is at their level yet, but he is very capable of getting there."
United currently lie in sixth place ahead of the festive fixtures, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and four behind fourth-placed Arsenal.