Barcelona are ‘closely following’ a regular Man Utd starter whose contract situation is causing alarm, and a potential exit could prompt an overhaul in the position with his back-up already for sale, per reports.
Two areas in Man Utd’s squad are expected to be addressed next month – right-back and the forward line. Regarding the latter, Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit has accelerated the club’s plans to sign a new centre-forward.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford can both play the position, though that would remove them from the equation for the flanks. With Jadon Sancho drawing remarkable links to Chelsea, that’s something Ten Hag may wish to avoid.
Indeed, Cody Gakpo is being heavily linked despite another huge price hike. The Netherlands ace is ultra-versatile and has led the line for Louis van Gaal in Qatar.
At right-back, Diogo Dalot has quickly established himself as first-choice under Ten Hag. He split time almost equally with Aaron Wan-Bissaka last year, but the latter has barely got a look-in this time around.
TEAMtalk exclusively revealed Wan-Bissaka has been put up for sale and two Premier League clubs are in the mix for his signature.
United have been heavily linked with two attacking upgrades – Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong. Both are in Qatar with the Netherlands where Dumfries is getting the nod and earning rave reviews along the way.
However, speculation over a Dalot exit always bubbles away in the background and today is no different.
Dalot’s current deal expires next summer, though Man Utd do hold an option to extend it by 12 months.
Fabrizio Romano previously reported United will only trigger the one-year option as a last resort. Their primary intention is to tie Dalot down to a longer-term and more lucrative deal to reward his stellar progress.
However, that is yet to happen and Italian journalist, Rudy Galetti, reports Barcelona are waiting in the wings.
Barcelona hovering over Dalot
Via his own website, Galetti reported Dalot is being ‘closely followed’ by Barcelona who have fixed their sights on the Portuguese. The Italian’s interest in reporting on Dalot stems from the fact he was previously loaned out to AC Milan.
Barca intend to conduct further evaluations of the player, with the inference being they’ll keep an eye on how he does for both Portugal in Qatar and back at Old Trafford.
Dalot got the nod to start in the Round of 16 victory over Switzerland in place of Joao Cancelo and may be Fernando Santos’ first-choice moving forward.
While there’s clearly little appetite for United to sell, they only have a maximum of 19 months left on Dalot’s current deal. If his head is eventually turned by Barcelona, it’d make sense to cash in in 2023 given he’s become a highly saleable asset.
In that scenario, Ten Hag may find himself ordering two new additions at right-back given Wan-Bissaka’s time as a Red Devil is coming to a close.
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