Manchester United have added significant strength to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team squad in the current window, but if some reports are to materialise, they could be about to undo some of their hard work.
After bringing in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane on big-money deals this summer, 90min have claimed the Red Devils are now looking to offload several fringe players to make room for further additions.
The report stated that the likes of Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic and Alex Telles are deemed surplus to requirements by the Old Trafford hierarchy, but a surprise name was also on the list.
Victor Lindelof is now reportedly available for transfer following the arrival of Varane in the red half of Manchester, although sanctioning his departure could be a decision that new football director John Murtough comes to regret.
The 27-year-old initially struggled to adapt to the pace and physical demands of the Premier League following his arrival from Benfica back in 2017, leading to much criticism coming his way during his first 12 months on English shores.
However, the Sweden international slowly adapted to the new challenge, becoming a permanent fixture at the heart of the club’s defence under former United boss Jose Mourinho and his successor Solskjaer.
Mourinho once hailed the Swede as ‘brave’ and a ‘fantastic example’ after he played while injured in a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace three years ago, and his fighting spirit, coupled with his ability on the ball (88.4% passing accuracy throughout his career), has won over many of his critics since.
Nevertheless, the signing of Varane was rightly heralded as much-needed and a big upgrade on the £21.6m-rated gem, although there are not many players who can hold their own against the World Cup-winning defender’s impressive CV and skillset.
While Varane is expected to take Lindelof’s place in the starting XI, the Scandinavian should still have a big part to play in United’s fortunes this season.
In a campaign which can exceed 60 games in all competitions, it’s impossible to win a major trophy with only 11 quality players. Solskjaer will need a squad full of top-class talent if he’s going to bring silverware back to Old Trafford, and he will surely be fuming if his third-choice centre-back is sold.
Lindelof’s name may not be guaranteed to be on the team sheet anymore, but he’s still sure to play a big part for the Red Devils despite his diminished role in the squad, and his potential exit could be a nightmare for the 20-time English champions – especially if Varane or Harry Maguire succumb to long-term injury.