Man United talks for Victor Lindelof stall, Mourinho to move for Southampton defender [Daily Record]

Benfica's Victor Lindelof
Benfica’s Victor Lindelof

Manchester United need a new central defender in January

As we head to the January transfer window, it looks very likely that Manchester United will sign a central defender.

Jose Mourinho has been playing Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones in the centre of defence, due to injuries to Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly.

Recent reports have suggested that Mourinho does not trust Smalling and Daley Blind has been jettisoned to a bench role over the past month.

Man United talks for Victor Lindelof stall

Manchester United have been heavily linked with Benfica’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof.

However, Duncan Castles reports in the Daily Record that “Benfica, however, have stalled initial discussions over a transfer fee by asking €60m for the 22-year-old. The Portuguese champions rejected an offer of €35m plus €10m in performance related variables from Chelsea for Lindelof in August.”

Castles, who has close links to Jose Mourinho and his agent Jorge Mendes, adds: “Though the Swede’s current contract contains a €30m release clause, Benfica say it is valid only in summer windows. Moreover, should Benfica not agree to sale, the player would have to buy himself out of the deal, incurring a large additional tax liability.”

Will United move for Jose Fonte?

As a result, Manchester United could likely switch their attention to Southampton central defender Jose Fonte.

The Euro 2016 winner can leave Southampton in January, according to Castles.

Southampton rejected an offer form Everton in the summer for Fonte and have not come through with an improved contract for Fonte, as was agreed between the player and club.