Jose Mourinho has made a Manchester United star critical to the set-up of Ralf Rangnick a top transfer target for January, though a second deal could be their salvation, per multiple reports.
Rangnick made a winning start to life in the Manchester United managerial hot-seat. The Red Devils held their nerve in the face of stubborn resistance from Crystal Palace and old foe Patrick Vieira. But with 13 minutes remaining and the scores deadlocked, the unlikely figure of Fred popped up with a wonder goal to snatch all three points.
Stabilising United’s wobbly defence was atop Rangnick’s early agenda. Barring a gilt-edged chance for Jordan Ayew, Palace’s attackers were kept quiet throughout.
Part of the reason why United were able to keep their opponents at bay stemmed from Rangnick’s system.
His 4-2-2-2 formation filled the central areas and his demand United’s players push up the pitch allowed them to win back possession in the opposition’s half with regularity.
However, such a system puts greater emphasis on the full-backs to provide width. Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot started the match with both full-backs are better know for attacking rather than defending.
Dalot marauded down the right flank and offered what the more defensive-minded Aaron Wan-Bissaka can’t.
Mourinho makes Dalot January ‘top target’
However, according to the Daily Mail, the Portuguese could be tempted with the lure of regular game-time from Jose Mourinho in January.
Citing Gazzetta dello Sport, the article claims Mourinho has installed Dalot as his ‘top target’ in January. Dalot was signed by Mourinho back in 2018, though struggled for minutes under his successor – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Dalot had been tipped for a return to AC Milan over the summer after impressing on loan last season. A deal ultimately failed to materialise, opening the door for Serie A rivals Roma to pounce.
Dalot’s current contract expires in 2023, meaning a decision on his future will have to be made in the coming windows. Corriere dello Sport previously reported a loan with an option to buy around the £12.5m mark was on their thinking\
Losing Dalot would almost certainly require United to sign an attack-minded replacement in the position. However, a newer report from Calciomercato has suggested United may be spared making a difficult decision.
Second Prem option could solve Dalot dilemma
The Italian outlet acknowledge Mourinho’s desire to land a right-back in January. However, they put Norwich City’s Max Aarons in the frame.
They state the ‘jewel’ of Norwich has already had a bid for his services submitted by Roma. A loan deal with an option to buy is on the cards. That is the same structure of transfer previous reports have stated Roma would offer for Dalot.
Their approach was apparently ‘clearly refused’ by Norwich. However, they have not abandoned hope of forging a deal.
His €22m valuation and reported €1.4m yearly salary per season are well within Roma’s reach. If Rangnick and United stand firm over Dalot, it appears Roma could plunder their resources into a deal for Aarons instead.
Also in the Aarons sweepstakes are Borussia Dortmund, Everton and Tottenham.