Manchester City and Real Madrid have reportedly joined AS Roma, Barcelona and others in the race to sign Swedish defender Victor Lindelof.

Italian publication Calciomercato have reported that Manchester City and Real Madrid are the latest clubs to set their sights on Victor Lindelof. The two European heavyweights have now joined Barcelona, Manchester United and AS Roma in the race to sign the Benfica centre-back.

Victor Lindelof has become one of the most highly rated young defenders in Europe, with several clubs across the continent regularly monitoring his progress with Benfica. That is because in nearly five years since he joined the Portuguese giants he has established himself as a mainstay at the back for the club.

This season, Lindelof has been prominent in defence for Benfica, notching up 33 appearances in all competitions. All the while he has been improving his defensive abilities while at the same time showcasing his technical prowess with the ball, with a passing accuracy of 88.2% to show for it.

Surely enough, with Lindelof being impressive for Benfica as well as his national team, he is a player who has been scouted by many clubs on several occasions. These include the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and AS Roma, who are all looking for defensive reinforcements for the summer, with Inter Milan and Chelsea also in the mix.

Man City and Real Madrid are the latest clubs to be linked with Victor Lindelof. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

Man City and Real Madrid are the latest clubs to be linked with Victor Lindelof. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

In fact, Manchester United looked all set to sign Lindelof in January before a transfer failed to materialise. Despite missing out on signing the Swedish defender, the Red Devils still were reported to be in pole position to sign him, but now have competition in the form of Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Manchester City are in some sort of defensive crisis, with Pep Guardiola having few options to choose from. Vincent Kompany has been beset by different injuries all through the season, while John Stones has struggled to settle in at the Etihad.

Nicolas Otamendi has been at the heart of the City defence, but has often blown hot and cold himself. With Eliaquim Mangala not making much of an impression in Spain and looking unlikely to carve out a place for himself under Guardiola, Lindelof presents himself as a viable option for the City boss.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, are themselves desperate to sign a new centre-back. Sergio Ramos is expected to remain at the heart of Los Blancos defence next season, but Pepe looks all set to depart from Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

Raphael Varane has been highly inconsistent while Nacho is preferred as a backup option by Zinedine Zidane. As a result, several central defenders have been linked with a move to Real Madrid, with Lindelof being the latest name to be reported.

In fact, the report states that it is indeed Real Madrid who are in the lead to secure Lindelof’s services in the summer. It now remains to be seen if the other clubs in the fray are able to do anything to get closer to signing the 22-year-old when the transfer window opens in June.

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