Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said it is “normal” for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof to be linked with a move to Old Trafford, and added that the club are not looking to sign more than one player in January.
United are ready to fast-track attempts to sign Lindelof, 22, and bring him in next month, having originally planned to move for him next summer, sources have told ESPN.
Mourinho, however, has played down talk of a transfer, adding that he usually prefers to make his signings during the summer window.
“In Portugal, the front pages say every player in Portugal now is coming to Manchester United. It’s normal,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. A few seasons ago, every player from Portugal was going to Chelsea, going to Real Madrid. It’s normal with the connection.
“But I like my squad. I believe more in the summer market than in the winter window. More time, more choice, I think it’s better. But let’s see what happens.
“If we buy a player, we buy a player — we’re not buying two, three or four. If we open the door for someone to leave, it’s not because we push him, it’s because he really wants to leave. For me, I am more than happy to keep the players.”
Lindelof’s arrival would strengthen United’s defensive options, but their backup central defenders have shone in recent weeks. With Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling having suffered injuries, the stand-in partnership of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo has flourished.
Mourinho said: “I’m really pleased with both. Marcos, he was a player considered by many as someone without the quality to be a Manchester United player.
“Phil was seen as an injury-prone player without the conditions to be back to the good Phil Jones of the past, so I was very happy for them.”
Mourinho spoke again about how he is open to a long-term stay at United beyond his three-year deal, saying he would sign a new contract without thinking twice.
“They are being super-supportive with me and always gave me the feeling that three years is not the time I am going to stay here,” Mourinho said. “I always had the feeling that I am going to stay for more time.
“They know that I’m loving it, at every level. They know that, if one day they bring the contract, I will sign it. I don’t even need my advisers. I’ll sign because I am loving it.”
Mourinho also spoke about the idea of managing in China, where Chelsea’s Oscar and Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors could be heading for big-money moves.
“China money is attractive for everyone, but I love my football at the highest level more,” he said. “[I’m] too young, 53, too young — too many years of football [ahead] — to go to a place like China. I want to stay in the most difficult place to win, so I’m in the right place.”