Overlooked Man Utd defender linked with last-minute January exit as agreement causes domino effect
Manchester United squad man Victor Lindelof could be on his way out after being shortlisted by a club who know they are about to lose one of their own defenders, according to reports.
Lindelof has struggled for gametime this season, managing just four Premier League starts among six top-flight appearances. He has been more involved in cup competitions, starting nine matches in that regard.
However, it seems clear that Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are the preferred partnership for Erik ten Hag. Furthermore, he has blocked a January departure for Harry Maguire.
Therefore, Lindelof won’t be expecting any kind of steep increase in his gametime in the second half of the season. Hence, he too is now facing an uncertain future.
According to some respected Italian sources, including Gianluca Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano, Serie A side Inter Milan have added Lindelof to their shortlist of defensive targets.
Inter are bracing themselves for the departure of Milan Skriniar. Indeed, the Slovakia international – whose contract expires at the end of the season – has confirmed he is signing for Paris Saint-Germain.
If PSG can convince Inter to sell Skriniar in January, the Italians will be scrambling for a last-minute replacement. In that regard, they have turned their attention to Lindelof.
Inter have a habit of picking up former Man Utd players. Their current squad includes Matteo Darmian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku.
Now, Lindelof could be the next player with a Man Utd past that they try to sign. According to Di Marzio, they are looking into a loan deal for the Sweden international.
However, there is a warning that Man Utd are unlikely to agree to that formula. In fact, Romano has also concluded that the Red Devils actually want to keep Lindelof.
Man Utd wise to keep Lindelof – for now
The 28-year-old has been with them since 2017, when he arrived from Benfica. In the time since, he has accumulated 210 appearances for the club.
Although he is no longer a regular starter, he is someone Man Utd would rather have at their disposal for the remainder of the season. His contract, for what it’s worth, is due to last until 2024, with the option of a further year.
This is supposed to be the prime of Lindelof’s career, though, so it may appeal to spend it somewhere he can make the most of it. He has never played in Serie A before, but could have a bigger role with Inter.
It seems a difficult deal to pull off in January, though. In fairness, it is sensible for Man Utd to keep as many useful players as they can at this point in the season. Perhaps Inter would have better luck if they tried to get Lindelof in the summer.
But if PSG can prise Skriniar away in advance, there could be some urgency from the Nerazzurri.
Lindelof is not their only option, which might be a relief to Man Utd. But other clubs are holding similar stances to the Premier League side in terms of holding on to their players this month.
Therefore, Inter may yet make an approach to Man Utd for Lindelof. It is not an ideal time for such a dilemma to be thrown at Ten Hag’s team. Thus, they will have to be decisive in their response.
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