According to the Express, Manchester United have already identified a replacement for Victor Lindelof, with Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez believed to be on Jose Mourinho’s wishlist.
The 22-year-old was a target for United in the summer but ended up signing a new deal with Benfica, inserting a £60m release clause into his contract. Atleti were also hit with a transfer ban which meant they were unlikely to part with any players, due to their inability to bring anyone in.
But with Lindelof struggling for form and playing time after his £31m move from Benfica, Mourinho is reportedly renewing his interest in the La Liga defender and could make an approach in January – after the transfer ban will be lifted.
Gimenez made just 17 league appearances for Atleti last season, and has racked up just 384 minutes of playing time in La Liga this time round. The Spanish giants might be open to selling him for the right price as a result of his failure to get into the starting lineup, but he won’t come cheap.
The centre-back’s £60m clause might prove to be a stumbling block for Manchester United, given they’ve already spent nearly £150m this season. Lindelof’s error-strewn performance against Huddersfield, coupled with injuries to Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Eric Bailly, could force United to spend in January to bolster the backline.
Mourinho is interested in Gimenez, but it’s unknown if that will translate into an official approach in the coming months.