Man Utd transfer vulnerable to Chelsea hijack, with upcoming deal make or break if Potter poaches lethal upgrade

Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong Credit: Alamy
Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong Credit: Alamy

An upcoming deal could assume greater significance after a report revealed Chelsea could hijack a Man Utd move for an eye-catching upgrade in defence.

Despite spending north of £200m last summer, Man Utd’s transfer business this season is far from over. Indeed, Sky Germany journalist, Florian Plettenberg, recently revealed which three positions United want to address, potentially as early as January.

One such position is right-back, with Plettenberg labelling that department the club’s ‘priority’.

Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka make up Ten Hag’s current options. Dalot has done little wrong in a Manchester United shirt of late and recently scored his first goal in three seasons for the club against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday night.

However, Ten Hag is understood to be seeking a more attack-minded option in the position. As such, if a new face does arrive, it’s likely Wan-Bissaka would be the fall guy.

Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong have both been touted as suitable fits.

Both have provided far more goals and assists than Dalot in recent times. Indeed, Dalot’s total goals contributions at club level since the beginning of last season stands at just three.

By contrast, Dumfries has 16 attacking returns for Inter and Leverkusen’s Frimpong has 18 over that same span. Both Dutchmen play predominantly as wing-backs, though they can play as an orthodox right-back too.

Fabrizio Romano recently confirmed Man Utd have sent scouts to monitor the 21-year-old Frimpong. However, according to FootballTransfers, any potential deal may have to go through Chelsea.

Chelsea could hijack Frimpong move

They report the Blues also like what they see in Frimpong and the possibility of a January transfer to either Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge in January is talked up.

Graham Potter will receive financial backing from Todd Boehly and co. so United will not be able to outmuscle the Blues in that department.

Potter currently counts the injured Reece James as his No 1 right-back or right wing-back. However, his backup options are far from ideal.

Cesar Azpilicueta is now 33, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has deputised in the position in recent times, though is a central midfielder by trade.

The report points out Leverkusen have received no official approaches as yet. Though if they do, they’ll be more willing to sell in January than they were last summer.

Leverkusen open to cashing in?

That change in stance stems from their poor start to the season.

They currently sit 15th out of 18 in the Bundesliga and are bottom of their Champions League group.

With the prospect of European football next season already looking slim, Leverkusen are tipped to be more receptive to cashing in on one or two of their most saleable assets in 2023. Frimpong certainly falls into that category.

If Chelsea do beat United to the punch for Frimpong, United may simply turn to Dumfries. Alternatively, today’s Euro Paper Talk suggested Dalot may wind up being the long-term answer.

Chelsea presence heightens Dalot importance

The Portuguese full-back is out of contract next summer, though United do hold an option for a further 12 months.

Citing reports out his native Portugal, it’s claimed Dalot is in line for a bumper, long-term extension.

Ten Hag has called on United’s decision-makers to adopt a sterner approach to player contracts. In his mind, too many players have received lucrative deals they weren’t all that deserving of.

But in Dalot’s case at least, it sounds like the right-back is pushing all the right buttons and his ever-improving on-field displays may well warrant a long-term deal.

READ MORE: Man Utd braced for bid that’ll give Ten Hag a way out, as LaLiga escape route opens up for failing flop

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