Reports from Italy have this week claimed Milan are not going to take up their option to buy Diogo Dalot.
Gazzetta dello Sport (via Pianeta Milan) reported that as it stands, they do not wish to sign him permanently.
The report may come as a surprise to some United fans who saw Dalot impress in the Europa League recently, especially in the first leg at Old Trafford.
He has made eight league starts and has four substitute appearances this season.
More of his gametime has come in Europe. He played a part in every single Europa League game – eight starts and two appearances off the bench.
With 28 league games gone already, Dalot has still not established himself as a regular starter in Serie A.
Theo Hernandez has established himself as an automatic pick at left-back when fit.
At right-back, the report claims that Milan would prefer to keep developing Pierre Kalulu than buy Dalot.
The report claims that when Dalot was loaned out to Milan, the deal came with an option to buy of 20 million Euros (£17.3 million).
That would represent a small loss on the £19 million the BBC report United paid to land Dalot in June 2018.
The loan move has been a reasonable success for Dalot.
He has been able to play more than he probably would have done at United, at another huge club where expectations are high.
Dalot also got an unexpected chance to show United up close how he’s improved.
That Old Trafford display drew praise from Paul Scholes, who views Dalot as a realistic option to battle Aaron Wan-Bissaka next season.
Perhaps if he does start more league games regularly, he might earn a permanent move to Milan, but as it stands it seems the San Siro club want to see more from him.
Dalot is under contract at Manchester United until 2023 which of course leaves the door open for him to come back and battle for his place in the squad.
He wasn’t given too many opportunities at United last season. This time around, it seemed Brandon Williams would be ahead of him in the pecking order at right-back.
Time is running out for him to earn a permanent move to Milan, but the experience has been better than hardly playing for United’s first team would have been.
That’s basically what Williams has done this season, which has stunted his development after his breakthrough in 2019/20.
At a lower price Milan might consider snapping him up – and perfect other clubs will come to United with offers in the summer.
You can’t blame Milan for not wanting to pay £17 million for someone who doesn’t start regularly for them in the league.
But that doesn’t mean Dalot’s loan hasn’t been worthwhile. It has boosted his prospects of a future at Old Trafford and has potentially attracted suitors from elsewhere.
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