Erik ten Hag has reportedly decided enough is enough over Manchester United’s lack of right-back options with a move for Norwich star Max Aarons high on his list of January priorities.
The Red Devils boss has been allowed to invest heavily since taking charge at Old Trafford, bringing in six new signings. And they have, largely, all had a positive impact with Anthony, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro all establishing themselves as regulars.
However, the building work is far from complete and the United manager is keen to strengthen his options at right-back. Indeed, the form of Diogo Dalot has been especially pleasing this season. He has become a regular in the side with this piece explaining why the Portuguese has become an ‘undroppable’.
It’s hard to discredit Dalot’s magnificent form for United so far this season. He has made the most of his chance, with Ten Hag clearly not fancying the club’s other option to play there in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Indeed, the £50m man has just four minutes of senior football under his belt in all competitions this season. Ten Hag was keen to sell him over the summer, only for John Murtough to reportedly talk him out of it.
That was probably because United did not have the extra funds needed to sign an alternative at that time. However, a fuming Ten Hag has reportedly decided that Wan-Bissaka does not have a future at the club. Furthmore, the player’s agent accepts it is time to move his client on and is reportedly looking to fix him up with a new club in January.
United ready to turn to Max Aarons
The focus at United, though, has already turned to a potential replacement.
The Red Devils are reportedly casting their eye over a number of potential options. To that end, the likes of Monaco star Vanderson has been strongly linked. However, his apparent £52m asking price represents a lot of money to spend on a relatively inexperienced player.
At 21, the Brazilian star is still finding his feet in a Monaco side he only joined last January.
Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries remains another potential target. However, the Nerazzurri are reluctant to sell and United would also need to part with a large amount of cash to convince them to sell.
Instead, Football Insider reports that Murtough and Ten Hag are growing increasingly keen on a move for Aarons.
The England Under-21 international is contracted at Norwich until summer 2024 and is valued at around £15m to £20m. And they claim the 22-year-old features high on United’s list of transfer options in January.
Despite his tender years, Max Aarons is already closing in on 200 appearances in a Norwich shirt. He has regularly found himself linked with a big-money move with United and Tottenham long-term admirers.
But Football Insider believes he could finally make the move away from Carrow Road in the winter window. United scouts are keeping a close watch on his progress and an official bid could be launched once the January window opens.
Ten Hag knows importance of Dalot competition at Man Utd
Ten Hag knows Dalot has become a vital member of his side with the player an ever-present this season.
But the United boss is also well aware of his need to strengthen his options there. And the Dutchman even suggested as much following Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Ham.
“I’m really happy with the development of Diogo,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports.
“His defensive positioning is growing from game to game, his time, also duels, are better from game to game and in possession I think he’s really good.”
In appearing to have a dig at Wan-Bissaka, Ten Hag dropped a big hint that United will actively pursue a new rigth-back in January.
He added: “He [Dalot] has the breath to go up and down [the flank] so the development is really good.
“But I have to mention, I think a club like Man Utd need two good full-backs. We have a lot of games to cover.”
Dalot, meanwhile, falls out of contract at Old Trafford in summer 2023. United do, though, hold a one-year option on that deal.
The likes of Barcelona, AC Milan and Roma are all keeping tabs on his situation, though, as a result.
And while United are keen to extend his deal, Dalot is refusing to pin his colours to the mast.
“I don’t think it’s the time to think about my contract situation,” he told Sky Sports after Sunday’s win.
“We’re in the process to improve our game as team.
“I love to play for Man United as I always try to show. I’m happy – this is the most important thing.”