It looks increasingly likely that Benfica star Victor Lindelof will move to Manchester United in January or at least in the summer. The Portuguese club recently refused to confirm reports that Lindelof had agreed a personal contract with the Red Devils. The transfer fee is estimated to be in the region of £38 million, which would make Lindelof as the most expensive defender signed by United. He would also become one of the most expensive defenders in the history of sport. At just 22 years of age, Lindelof is already seen as one of the greatest talents at the back.
Jose Mourinho is now keen on pairing him with Eric Bailly in order to bring back the glory days of the Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic playing together at the back. It is rumoured that the Swede has agreed a €3.5 million per year (via Portuguese newspaper O Jogo Cited by Sportwitness) contract. However, the latest news coming out of Old Trafford seems to hint that Lindelof will not be the first defensive player to agree a contract with the club in the last few weeks. Antonio Valencia has been putting in a series of excellent performances over the last few weeks. He is set to be rewarded with a new contract, which will extend his stay at Old Trafford even further.
Brought in from Wigan Athletic as a winger for £16 million in the summer of 2009, he has become more of a right back in recent years. Sir Alex Ferguson saw the right back spot as an ideal position that would make use of Valencia’s pace and stamina to the maximum. It has proven to be the case, as he has eventually been converted into a right back. His contract was set to expire in the summer, thus placing him at a precarious position with regard to his future. Considering that he was 31 years old, it was looking highly unlikely that United will offer him anything more than a year.
It seems to have not been the case, as Valencia is on the verge of signing a two-year contract extension. The news is likely to be made official even before Lindelof moves to the club, according to the Sun. The Ecuadorian winger was on a contract worth around £80,000-a-week (via Daily Mirror) and the new deal will just extend the length of the contract with no changes to the pay structure. In the absence of any real competition, Valencia has been the default right back for United and he has made 18 appearances in all competitions. A return of three assists in the period shows the strength in attack given by Valencia.
Lindelof is a player capable of playing on the right or as a centre back.