Victor Lindelof is reportedly set to sign a contract extension at Benfica amid Manchester United interest to increase his release clause to more than £50 million.
According to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t Daily Mail), Victor Lindelof is on the cusp of signing a contract extension at Portuguese side Benfica that could see his release clause skyrocket to an excess of £50 million.
Manchester United have been linked with the Swedish defender for a reported £38 million fee, but could now have to overpay if they are to secure the services of the 22-year-old. Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is an admirer of the centre-back and is intent on bringing him to Old Trafford to spruce up the back-line.
It is also reported that the English side are set to give the player a huge pay hike as they will have to offer the defender wages of £58,000-a-week – amounting to a total of £3 million annually. Lindelof is currently on £3,500-a-week at Benfica, and will undoubtedly be tempted to move to England and join forces with Mourinho.
The defender’s former club – Vasteras in Sweden – are due 20 percent of any transfer fee Benfica receive for the player. Thus, the Portuguese side will be looking to maximise their profits on the sale, and are looking to receive an additional £12 million for his services.
Benfica are also in a dispute with Vasteras over the initial transfer of Lindelof in 2011 for £60,000. A clause was inserted in the deal that stated the Portuguese club were to pay the Swedish side €250,000 once he featured in ten Champions League appearances, which he did in April this year.
Lindelof’s current employers have refused to pay the sum that are due to his former club, but this minor hiccup is unlikely to cause hindrances in the player’s potential move to Manchester United.
Signing the 22-year-old is essential for Mourinho, given the lack of quality he has in defence. Ivorian Eric Bailly was signed in the summer and has looked solid, but he is set to miss weeks of football due to the African Cup of Nations – leaving the Red Devils short at the back.
Phil Jones has stepped up to the task perfectly, but doubts remain over the technical ability of Marcos Rojo. The Argentine has come under tremendous scrutiny for his rash challenges. Adding Lindelof could see the manager have a quality option to bolster his defence and also give him a solid option for the future.