Diogo Dalot wants to leave Manchester United in January and has become a top target for a former manager in the process, according to reports.
Dalot has been a Man Utd player since 2018, when he joined from FC Porto. However, he has only managed to make 41 appearances for the club since the transfer. Only six of those appearances have come in the current season, in which he is yet to start a Premier League match.
The full-back found more space when he went on loan to AC Milan last season. Over in Italy, he featured in 33 matches across all competitions.
Now, as he continues to struggle to cement his place at Old Trafford, he is a wanted man in Serie A yet again.
Milan considered extending his loan for another season in the summer. But they opted to look elsewhere due to the costs of the deal. Instead, they took Alessandro Florenzi from Roma – who are now trying to sign Dalot for themselves.
Roma, of course, are coached by former Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician was in charge of the Red Devils when they signed his compatriot. Now, he could be looking to take him to another club.
Mourinho recently caused controversy in the Italian capital by bemoaning his lack of squad depth. One of the key areas he wants Roma to reinforce is at right-back, where he trusts starter Rick Karsdorp but has little faith in backup Bryan Reynolds.
Therefore, a reunion with Dalot would give him more confidence in what he has at his disposal.
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Mourinho’s desire to work with Dalot again at Roma emerged in September. Now, Il Romanista verify that the 22-year-old features on their shortlist at his request.
Tellingly, they report that Dalot wants to leave Man Utd in search of more gametime. The stars may be aligning for a reunion with Mourinho.
Il Romanista believe a deal could be done via a six-month loan with a view to a permanent transfer. Man Utd could receive €3m by lending him to the Giallorossi for the rest of the season.
Then, in the summer, Roma could take Dalot off United’s hands on a permanent basis. It is believed that the total cost would not surpass €10m.
However, Il Romanista are wary that negotiations between the two clubs may not be straightforward if they disagree on valuation – hinting back at the prolonged discussions between the two clubs over the transfer of Chris Smalling last summer.
Man Utd to replace Dalot?
United will be keen to get the right deal, but with Dalot’s desire to leave becoming clear and his contract running out in 2023, this transfer may come to a conclusion more smoothly.
It would leave United with the question of how to replace Dalot. Although Aaron Wan-Bissaka is firmly their first-choice right-back, he cannot carry the weight all alone.
United would likely have to find a new signing to provide cover or to take Wan-Bissaka’s role as the main man. Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid continues to be linked with a move to Manchester, for example.
Adding fuel to the fire, Trippier recently admitted he would like to return to the Premier League one day after his stint in Spain with Atletico Madrid.
He is nearly 10 years older than Dalot, so United must decide whether that experience – as well as his greater attacking output than Wan-Bissaka – would be beneficial or if they should be keeping other options in mind.