Man Utd head to France in right-back search as contact made with Lyon’s star agent

Malo Gusto of Lyon

Manchester United have begun targeting Lyon player Malo Gusto in a bid to improve their right-back options, according to a report.

Erik ten Hag can currently use Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right side of defence. Dalot has gotten the nod in the first two matches, which have both ended in defeat for the Red Devils.

Ten Hag seems to prefer using Dalot over English counterpart Wan-Bissaka. Perhaps this is because Dalot is better at attacking, something Wan-Bissaka has come in for criticism for.

Recent reports have claimed Barcelona are hoping to sign Dalot, who plays alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for the Portugal national team.

But according to Spanish source Mundo Deportivo, the defender wants to stay at Manchester United after being given opportunities by Ten Hag. And Barca are focusing on other transfer targets too, which makes a move very unlikely.

Even if Dalot remains at Old Trafford, United could probably do with signing another right-back. Just look at Trent Alexander-Arnold with Liverpool.

Last season, he got 19 assists in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp’s team. That is more than some attacking midfielders get at other clubs.

Clearly, it would be hard for United to find a right-sided defender of Alexander-Arnold’s calibre. But they may as well try.

Man Utd set sights on Malo Gusto

French newspaper L’Equipe claim United are in pursuit of Lyon’s Gusto. He is a 19-year-old right-back who represents France U21s.

He had a breakout campaign last season, playing in 30 Ligue 1 matches. The year before, he only featured twice in France’s top division.

Gusto also picked up experience in the Europa League during 2021-22, playing seven times in the competition before Lyon’s quarter-final defeat to West Ham.

One of the main reasons United will be looking at Gusto is his attacking output. He got six assists last term, with five of those coming in Ligue 1.

While this is some way off Alexander-Arnold’s record, it is still impressive. And the fact Gusto is only 19 means he has plenty of time to get even better in the attacking third.

According to L’Equipe, United chiefs have made contact with Gusto’s representatives over a switch to Manchester. Barca are also in the chase for him as they want to replace Sergino Dest.

The two clubs may find it hard to prize him away from Lyon, however. After such a great season, the French outfit rate Gusto very highly.

And club sources told L’Equipe: “Many clubs approached us but we were very clear, no departure.”

Gusto’s deal at the Groupama Stadium runs until June 2024, which is why Lyon can take such a firm stance.

There is a price that will see Gusto leave Lyon, though. They will consider bids in the region of £21.2million (€25m).

It is now up to United. They could match this price, or bid a fee just below, to try and snare Gusto from Lyon.

The player clearly has high potential and is picking up experience on a fairly big stage too. But maybe there are other, more experienced right-backs the Red Devils could land.

Meanwhile, Nani has spoken about what went wrong for United against Brentford and the problems which need solving before Liverpool visit Old Trafford.