Diogo Dalot has reportedly been added to the shortlist of potential Atletico Madrid targets to replace one that got away for Manchester United, Kieran Trippier.
Man Utd were hoping to sign Trippier from the Spanish champions in the summer. Diogo Dalot had spent the previous season on loan with AC Milan. Therefore, his future was uncertain and Trippier could have replaced him.
Ultimately, the Red Devils could not agree a fee for the England international. Instead, Dalot remained at the club to compete for a place with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Particularly since interim manager Ralf Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Dalot has taken his chance. So far this season, he has featured in 13 matches across all competitions. Since the start of December, he has completed 90 minutes on five occasions.
It has led to claims that he has saved his Man Utd career. Indeed, reports in December suggested a much-touted reunion with Jose Mourinho at Roma was now off the cards. The fact that the Serie A side have since signed Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal on loan justifies this theory.
However, it does not mean that Dalot will definitely be staying in Manchester. Just because one exit route has seemingly been ruled out, does not mean others can open up.
Now, according to AS, Dalot has emerged onto Atletico Madrid’s list of right-back targets.
The side from the Spanish capital are in the market for a new full-back. They sanctioned Trippier’s exit earlier this month, but the United he ended up at was Newcastle, not Manchester.
Atletico knew they would have to find a replacement for the 31-year-old. In that regard, they have already been linked with a few familiar faces.
For example, they have been mentioned as competitors for the signature of Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard is out of contract at the end of the season and could return to his homeland.
Diogo Dalot on lengthy Atletico list
It then emerged that their priority was actually the versatile Daniel Wass of Valencia. But now, AS have revealed they have a number of alternatives in mind.
Diogo Dalot is among that group. The report makes note of the fact that he can cover on either side of defence, which may add to his appeal.
AS acknowledge that he has returned to prominence for Man Utd recently. Still, with a contract only running until 2023, it could be all to play for.
Also under consideration by Atleti if Valencia don’t let them take Wass are Rasmus Kristensen of RB Salzburg, Mattia De Sciglio of Juventus and Pablo Maffeo of Mallorca.
Either way, Atleti sporting director Andrea Berta wants to sign a new right-back next week. For now, Diego Simeone will have to keep using midfielder Marcos Llorente out of position.
The only natural right-back in their squad now is Sime Vrsaljko. They are therefore hoping to add another. Although they may have their work cut out if they want it to be Dalot.
The Portugal international has never played in La Liga. At the age of 22, the leagues he has experienced are the top-flights in Portugal, England and Italy.
Therefore, he has adapted to a range of different environments already. Atletico may feel he could be a success in Spain as well.
It would seem unlikely United would sanction his exit at this stage. However, reports have linked them with another right-back signing of their own recently.
Man Utd linked with Dalot replacement
Indeed, United are ready to rival Tottenham for the signing of Brighton star Tariq Lamptey, according to a report.
Lamptey came through Chelsea’s academy but opted to leave two years ago in search of regular game time. He settled on Brighton and has been gaining a favourable reputation at the Amex ever since.
The right-back’s progress was hampered by a hamstring injury at the start of the season. Seagulls manager Graham Potter has been gradually easing Lamptey back into the side since then.
He has appeared in Brighton’s last three Premier League fixtures – wins against Brentford and Everton, either side of a draw with Chelsea.
Lamptey is on Tottenham’s radar as Antonio Conte doesn’t seem to fully trust Emerson Royal. But with Spurs plotting a move for Adama Traore, United could move into pole position for 21-year-old Lamptey.
The Daily Mail reveal Ralf Rangnick’s admiration for him. The German apparently wants a new right-back, clearly not being fully content with Wan-Bissaka and Dalot.
Lamptey has the ability to star as a full-back or wing-back, making him an attractive signing for the Old Trafford club.
United value Lamptey at £30million and could submit a bid of that amount this month. However, it may take several offers as Brighton want £40m.
Arsenal have kept tabs on the England U21 international’s progress in recent months. However, it is unclear if they will rival United with an offer before the transfer window closes.