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Erik ten Hag 'to refuse Victor Lindelof exit this summer'

Erik ten Hag 'to refuse Victor Lindelof exit this summer'
© Reuters
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag is not prepared to let Victor Lindelof leave the club this summer, according to a report.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag is reportedly not prepared to let Victor Lindelof leave the club this summer despite the Swede not being guaranteed regular starts next term.

The 28-year-old found it difficult to break into the side in the opening half of the 2022-23 campaign due to the form of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in the middle of the defence.

However, injuries to Martinez and Varane opened the door for Lindelof in February, and he was a vital player for the Red Devils in the closing months of the campaign, forming a strong partnership with Varane once the Frenchman returned to fitness.

The Sweden international ended the season with 35 appearances in all competitions, and he played the full 90 minutes in each of Man United's final nine Premier League games of the campaign.

Martinez will be back for the start of pre-season training, though, and the club are also believed to be closing in on the signature of Kim Min-jae from Napoli.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck in action with Manchester United's Victor Lindelof on April 23, 2023© Reuters

Harry Maguire is still expected to leave despite recent reports, but Lindelof could still start next season as fourth choice at the back behind Varane, Martinez and potentially Kim.

A number of clubs are said to be keen to sign the defender, including Eintracht Frankfurt, who are thought to have made an offer during the January window.

According to Bild, the Bundesliga outfit have reignited their interest this summer, but Ten Hag has made it clear that he does not want to lose the defender ahead of next season.

Speaking back in March, Lindelof admitted that he would consider his future at the end of the season, as he wants to be playing regular football at this stage of his career.

Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke in action with Manchester United's Victor Lindelof on May 20, 2023© Reuters

The Swede moved to Old Trafford from Benfica in July 2017, and he has represented the club on 231 occasions in all competition, scoring three times and registering six assists.

Lindelof's current deal is due to expire next summer, although Man United have the option of extending the agreement for a further 12 months until June 2025.

"He's playing fantastic. Really good games in and out of possession, totally defending in control, but then building up as well; good positioning, good decisions, so we are happy with that," Ten Hag told reporters when describing Lindelof last month.

"We already have seen we have many players, including Lindelof, who are determined to win the game in attack and defence and that is what you need if you want to be successful."

Atletico Madrid are also thought to be admirers of the Swede, although it is unclear at this stage whether the La Liga club are interested in a summer deal.

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Napoli's Kim Min-jae in action on April 15, 2023
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