Middlesbrough are set to bolster their squad with the signing of Benfica centre back Victor Lindelof according to Gazette Live. He will initially move to the Riverside Stadium on loan for the remainder of the season, with the view to it becoming permanent over the summer.
The highly-rated 21-year-old featured for the Sweden Under-21 side at the UEFA Under-21 Championships last summer, a tournament which they eventually won. He also featured against England in that same competition, with Boro defender Ben Gibson lining up on the opposite team. The versatile defender will provide competition for places across the back line.
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is known to be a long-term fan of Lindelof and will be delighted at being able to get this deal across the line. With Gibson currently struggling with injury at the moment, Lindelof will compete with the likes of Fernando Amorebieta for a place alongside Daniel Ayala. Lindelof can also play at right back or as a holding midfield, so will provide plenty of cover in a few different positions.
He was set to have a medical at Rockliffe last week, only for ‘legal technicalities’ to delay out. However with those issues now seemingly resolved, Lindelof is now free to complete his move from the Portuguese giants. Real Valladolid were one of the other clubs said to have also been interested in signing him, but the player expressed a desire to play in England.
The youngster has played twice for the senior Benfica side in recent years, once as a substitute against arch-rivals Porto in 2014. Earlier this season he made his full debut against Nacional in the Taca da Liga, with most of his performances coming in the Benfica B team.