Victor Lindelof insists he will fight for his place at Manchester United despite Erik ten Hag’s side making an improved offer for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez
- Victor Lindelof says that he will stay and fight for his place at Manchester United
- United have made an improved offer of £43m for Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez
- Lindelof also backed team-mate Harry Maguire to keep the captain’s armband
Victor Lindelof has vowed to fight for his place at Manchester United after the club tabled an improved offer of £43million for Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez.
New manager Erik ten Hag wants to sign Martinez from his old club in Holland, but United face competition for the 24-year-old Argentine from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Ten Hag is hoping to strengthen in central defence with United prepared to listen to offers for Eric Bailly and Phil Jones this summer.
Defender Victor Lindelof has insisted that he will fight for his place at Manchester United
United have made an improved offer of £43million for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez
Lindelof finished last season as arguably United’s first-choice centre-back as Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane spent time on the bench, and the Swede says he would welcome the competition from another defender.
Asked on United’s tour to Bangkok if he has been unnerved by talk of signing Martinez, Lindelof said: ‘I’m not a nervous person, I’m quite calm. I know what I can do on the pitch, I’ve been working very hard and that’s all I can focus on really.
‘I’m always confident. At every club like this there should be competition for places, that’s a very good thing. You need it to perform and to compete for trophies. This is my sixth year, I’ve made almost 200 appearances now, I want to do many more and I want to help the team on the pitch.
‘I’ve been playing quite a lot of games. Even if I have a bad day, I think I can perform at a high level and I think my teammates can trust me as well on the pitch.’
Lindelof has backed team-mate Harry Maguire to carry on as United’s captain this season
Lindelof took his opportunity last season following Maguire’s loss of form as the United captain faced questions over his suitability to wear the armband.
Ten Hag has yet to say whether Maguire will remain as skipper before Tuesday’s opening tour game against Liverpool in Bangkok, but Lindelof backed the England defender to continue doing the job.
‘Harry is a great player and a great captain as well,’ he added. ‘He is a very nice guy off the pitch. He tries to talk a lot and communicate with the players and I think he is a great player.
‘It’s normal if you are the captain of the biggest club in the world that people outside will speak, but I don’t think it’s a problem for him and I think everyone trusts him as well.’
Ten Hag was brought in following United’s worst ever Premier League campaign, and Lindelof has welcomed the intensity of training under the new manager during his first two weeks of pre-season.
New United manager Erik ten Hag has much work to do in order to improve United’s fortunes
‘We haven’t really spoken about last season, that is in the past,’ he said. ‘Everyone was very disappointed in the way we performed and where we were in the table.
‘But everyone is professional. There are going to be ups and downs, but we haven’t talked about it and we just want to look forward now.
‘It has been absolutely fantastic under the new boss since he came. The level of the training has really stepped up. I think he is very good at paying attention to the details – his demands and what he expects from us. If something is not right in an exercise he can stop and explain it again for us and that’s a very good thing for us.
‘The first week was a little bit different from this week. This week has been a bit more intense with different types of runs and in games. I don’t mind it, it should be like that. He’s demanding a lot, but it should be like that at a club like this.’