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Man United Begin Talks for New Contract With £25m Rated Defender as Potential Suitors Close in

Diogo Dalot, Barcelona

According to latest reports, Manchester United are working on giving Diogo Dalot a new contract. The Portuguese fullback has made a strong start to the season under new manager Erik ten Hag. Dalot has started 15 games this season, registering two assists against his name.

The Red Devils signed the 23-year-old defender from FC Porto in 2018 for a fee of £19m. Jose Mourinho, manager of the Old Trafford club at that time, labelled him as the best fullback in the world for his age:

“Everybody knows that he has fantastic potential.”

 “I don’t want to compare, especially not the number of titles. But he is probably the same age as Gary Neville when he came into the first team. Probably he can follow Neville in this dynamic of more than 10 years as United’s right-back, with amazing conditions to improve, because as I was saying he’s 19 years old.

Diogo Dalot, Manchester United
Image Obtained Via TechnoSports

Mourinho further predicted after the deal was completed:

“He has all the attributes that a full-back needs. Physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.

“In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe. And we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”

Diogo Dalot, however, struggled for minutes at Manchester United, especially under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In the 2019-20 season, he managed just 11 appearances across all competitions. As a result, the Red Devils allowed the right-back to depart on loan, to AC Milan.

The Portuguese was largely a backup to Davide Calabria at Milan. Nevertheless, he still managed to make 33 appearances and notched up 2 goals and 3 assists (stats via transfermarkt). After returning to Manchester, Dalot finally got some prominence under Ralf Rangnick. The former Porto fullback played 30 games (stats via Transfermarkt) last season, as the German manager switched between a 4-2-2-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1.

Manchester United Aiming To Extend The Contract Of Diogo Dalot

Under Erik ten Hag too, Dalot has managed to retain his place as a starter. With Antony ahead of him, the 23-year-old is able to act as an effective outlet in the deeper areas of the field while also being well-positioned to protect his side on the break. His form has completely relegated United’s £50m signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Diogo Dalot has a contract with Manchester United only until 2023. It is reported that he has a one-year extension clause that may be triggered. According to journalist Jacque Talbot, United are formally pursuing a contract extension for the 23-year-old.

However, Dalot has not taken a decision on his future yet, and may wait until the World Cup to maximize his value. The Portuguese is one of lowest earners at the club, at just £25,000-a-week. He is “inclined” to accept United’s new proposal, which may bump his pay to a six-figure sum.

However, Manchester United are also wary of growing interest in the defender, as reported by Calciomercato (via ESPN). Three Italian clubs, including AC Milan and Juventus are reportedly interested in the 23-year-old. FC Barcelona are also potentially in the hunt for Dalot.

Manchester United are also in the hunt for another right-back already. Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries has been rumoured with a move to Old Trafford, potentially as an upgrade over Dalot.

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Verdict

While Diogo Dalot has been in tremendous form recently, Manchester United also have some excellent options available in the transfer market. The Red Devils should carefully weigh any offer they receive for the Portuguese, keeping in mind how much a potential replacement might cost.

If Dalot’s sale frees up squad space for a better right-back, United could sell the 23-year-old in the upcoming winter transfer window. However, Erik ten Hag could greatly benefit from extending his contract too. He has demonstrated a good understanding of Ten Hag’s tactical demands. He is good on the ball, and quite adept defensively. Just 23, Dalot has a lot of scope for growth over time.

Ultimately, Dalot himself has the most important say. If the right-back is committed to United’s long-term project, then the Red Devils will be able to extend his stay for a lesser expense than replacing him.

Do you think Manchester United should extend Diogo Dalot’s contract? Let us know in the comments.

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Adithya Ravi
Football enthusiast. Stat enthusiast

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