Victor Lindelof says Man Utd players cannot be distracted by potential takeover
Victor Lindelof says Manchester United’s players cannot think about a potential takeover as they must focus all their energy on beating Barcelona and then lifting the Carabao Cup.
Erik ten Hag’s side are still fighting on four fronts, with Sunday’s 3-0 win against Leicester keeping hopes of a Premier League title push alive.
United host Barcelona in the return leg of their Europa League knockout play-off with the tie balanced at 2-2, before heading to Wembley to take on Newcastle in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
The relentlessness and importance of the schedule is not lost on the team, which is why Lindelof – looking to win his first trophy as a United player – says the players cannot be distracted by takeover talk.
“I haven’t given that a thought, you know, especially now with the schedule,” the centre-back told the PA news agency.
“We can’t think about that. We just have to think about the games and preparing the best that we can do.
“Yeah, I haven’t thought about that. Whatever happens happens, but we’re just focusing on our performances.”
Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS company publicly confirmed that they submitted bids to buy the club from the Glazer family before Friday’s soft deadline.
United fans, as always, chanted against the current owners on Sunday, when Ten Hag’s side rode their luck against Leicester before Jadon Sancho added to Marcus Rashford’s brace.
📍M16 👉🏾🙎🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/428e9BhS9u
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) February 20, 2023
Rashford is excelling after a season of adversity and has scored 24 goals in all competitions, breaking his single-season record for the club before February was out.
“Of course I’ve seen what type of player he is over the years, but I think right now he does everything right,” Lindelof said of Rashford.
“He’s training great, doing his recovery right and, yeah, just shows what type of player he is. His form has been unbelievable lately.”
Asked if he has noticed him doing anything different, the United defender added: “I think it’s just… it’s hard (to say).
“He’s coming in, he’s doing his recovery and it’s very, very important when we have the schedule that we have. You know, games are coming thick and fast every three days.
“I don’t know what he’s doing at home, but I think he’s doing the right things because otherwise he can’t perform every game the way he’s doing it.
“I think as well it can be a confidence thing. When he keeps on scoring and scoring, he knows he can do it, so maybe that’s a thing as well.”
Rashford has had his ups and downs at United, as has long-serving goalkeeper David De Gea.
The 32-year-old produced two key first half saves to keep Leicester at bay on the way to equalling Peter Schmeichel’s club record of 180 clean sheets.
“I think everyone knows what type of keeper he is and it’s always nice to have him behind you as an extra security,” Lindelof said.
The spirit in this group is incredible ❤️#MUFC || #MUNLEI pic.twitter.com/nmPG7GWLuE
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 19, 2023
“I’m just very, very happy for him that he’s been performing the way he’s been doing lately as well.”
De Gea has only missed four matches for United in all competitions this season, whereas Lindelof has found playing time restricted compared to previous campaigns.
Sunday was only the Sweden international’s fifth league start and the defender is confident in his ability to help the team whenever called upon.
“The squad is very, very important and especially as we are in every competition at the moment,” Lindelof added.
“The schedule is crazy, so the team is always the most important thing. Of course like any player I want to play every game, but, I mean, we’ve been performing great as a team.
“Whenever I’m on the pitch I want to do my thing and I think I’ve been performing great as well when I’m on the pitch.”
Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes had won back-to-back league games and started brightly at Old Trafford, meaning January signing Victor Kristiansen remains upbeat despite defeat ahead of hosting leaders Arsenal.
“We’re coming from a good period, some good results, there’s no need to be disappointed,” the full-back told LCFC TV.
“Tomorrow the sun will go up again and we will have a strong team coming to King Power Stadium next week.
“I’m just looking forward to that and I’m sure we will come back even stronger.”