Manchester United defender ‘wanted’ January departure, but Ten Hag blocked deadline day offer
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reportedly blocked an offer from Eintracht Frankfurt for centre-back Victor Lindelof last month.
The defender has been used infrequently this season, but given Raphael Varane has missed several games with injuries, he could become more involved. The 28-year-old allegedly ‘would have liked’ to leave last month, but will remain at United until at least the end of the season.
Overall, Lindelof has made just four starts in the Premier League this season, along with three in the Europa League and one in the FA Cup.
The Sweden international’s sporadic game time led Frankfurt to consider a last-minute move, according to German outlet Bild.
It is reported that the Bundesliga side’s sporting director, Markus Krosche, considered a deadline day deal to bring Lindelof in on loan until the end of the season.
However, Ten Hag blocked this approach. Interestingly, he also rejected a loan bid for another out-of-favour centre-back – Harry Maguire – as reported on Wednesday.
It now seems that both will be utilised by the Dutch coach in the second half of the season, as the Red Devils look to solidify their spot in the top four.
Last chance for Lindelof to shine at Old Trafford?
Since joining Man United in 2017, Lindelof has featured 212 times for his team, scoring three goals in the process.
He played most frequently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. For example, in the 2019/20 campaign, he played all but three of United’s league games, as they finished in third place.
However, since Ten Hag’s arrival, Lindelof has gradually fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Varane and Martinez.
But, Varane has already missed eight matches this season due to injuries, so there is a clear need for United to have quality back up options.
Recently, Ten Hag has opted to use Luke Shaw, usually a left-back, as a centre-back as cover for Varane, ahead of both Maguire and Lindelof.
After blocking both of their departures, however, it looks like they could feature more often.
Lindelof most recently came off the bench in United’s League Cup quarter-final win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but he will be hoping to break into the starting XI once again.
Given the 28-year-old was keen to leave Old Trafford last month, a departure at the end of the season isn’t out of the question.
Maguire could also get the opportunity to depart next summer, which will leave United leaving at least one new defender.
However, this is a big opportunity for the pair to show Ten Hag that they can still perform consistently at the highest level.
If they can put in some good performances over the next few months, they may end up being regulars in the team once again.
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