Victor Lindelof’s agent has claimed that Barcelona attempted to sign his client this summer.
That led Barcelona (opens in new tab) to turn their attention to Lindelof, but Manchester United (opens in new tab) made it clear that they were unwilling to sanction the departure of a key member of their first team.
And the former Benfica centre-back signed a contract extension at Old Trafford two weeks after the European transfer window closed for business.
“Lindelof was perhaps Man Utd's best player last season, and there was a lot of interest from clubs that are even better [than United] at the moment," Hasan Cetinkaya, the Sweden international’s representative, told Aftonbladet (opens in new tab).
"When Matthijs de Ligt chose Juventus, Victor was pronounced Barcelona's first choice. His way of playing, his DNA, is very close to Barcelona's way of playing. He is one of the world's best centre-backs with the ball at his feet, and Barcelona wanted him. That's how it was. I can talk about that now.
"They contacted Ed Woodward on numerous occasions with concrete offers. I had a meeting with their transfer manager, Matt Judge, to try to make a transition. But they just said: 'There is no chance. Victor is one of our best players'.
“It ended up being a new agreement instead, even though Victor actually had three years left. Usually, they do not make extensions with players who have so long left on the contract, but when there was an interest at this level they had no other option.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has chosen Lindelof as Harry Maguire’s centre-back partner in the opening weeks of the season.
United return to action when Arsenal (opens in new tab) visit Old Trafford in a crunch Premier League clash on Monday night.
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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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