Manchester United are set to complete the signing of Benfica star Victor Lindelof when the transfer window reopens in January. The centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho keen on bringing a defender during the mid-season.
According to the Mirror, the Swedish international has £30m ($37.4m) release clause in his contract. However, that can only be triggered after the end of the 2016/17 season. The Red Devils are now preparing a move and have tabled a £38m ($47.4m) bid in securing the services.
The 20-time English champions have sent their scouts to watch Lindelof in action on several occasions this season. They were in attendance at Estadio da Luz when Benfica registered a 2-1 win over Sporting.
United have made their interest official after their match against Sporting on 11 December. Lindelof is also open to the idea of making a switch to the Premier League and is unwilling to wait until the summer before making a move.
Mourinho wants to bolster his defensive options, especially when he will be without Eric Bailly, who will represent the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of nations. That leaves him with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling with recognised central defenders in the squad along with Daley Blind.
Benfica will be reluctant to sell their star player in January, especially when they have sealed a place in the last 16 of the Champions League. They have been drawn against Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund.
The United manager has urged the Red Devils executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to help him make defensive reinforcements to make the squad more competitive to help them finish in the top four. They are sixth in the table with 30 points after 17 games, trailing fourth place Manchester City by three points, who will face Arsenal on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Lindelof's compatriot Zlatan Ibrahimovic earlier admitted the Swedish central defender is good enough to play for top clubs in Europe.
"I think Victor is doing great things, he is playing good for Benfica, he gets a lot of responsibility for the national team now, he is growing," Ibrahimovic said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"Is he good enough for United? I think he's good enough for the big clubs out there. It's up to him what he wants and what the situation says. Whatever he chooses will be good for him. I know he is hot on the market so let him make the right choice, what fits him good."