LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United have agreed an undisclosed fee for Benfica’s Swedish international defender Victor Lindelof, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.
The 22-year-old now has to agree personal terms and pass a medical but United are optimistic of making him their first major signing of the close season.
Manager Jose Mourinho is believed to be keen to strengthen his squad in several areas, including defence, after qualifying for next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League last month.
“Manchester United is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement with Benfica for the transfer of Victor Lindelof, subject to a medical examination, international clearance and personal terms,” said a statement on the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“A further announcement will be made once the transfer is complete.”
Lindelof has long been linked with a move to United but he remained tight-lipped about a possible shift ahead of Friday’s magnificent 2-1 win for Sweden over France in Stockholm, saying that he had a contract at Benfica he intended to honour.
That all changed less than 24 hours later as Manchester United announced his signing.
Lindelof cut his teeth as a teenager in the tough surroundings of Sweden’s third tier at Vasteras SK, a small club based a little over 100 kilometres outside Stockholm where he made his senior debut in 2010.
A year later the club had been promoted to Sweden’s second tier and in 26 starts and one substitute appearance he caught the eye of Benfica, signing a five-year deal with their B team in December 2011 and joining them in the summer of 2012.
After three years he moved up to the A team and has not looked back since, winning three Portuguese league titles, playing in the Champions League and making his international debut against Turkey in March 2016.
He was soon linked to some of Eur0pe’s biggest clubs and the chase intensified when Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who spent last season at Old Trafford, gave his seal of approval.
Lindelof is a superb reader of the game, strong in the tackle and well able to pass the ball when he wins possession.
Reporting by Steve Tongue, additonal reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Clare Fallon