Diogo Dalot complicates potential Manchester United interest in Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Manchester United are keeping tabs on Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, report The Mirror.
Wan-Bissaka, 21, is an excellent prospect who shunted Timothy Fosu-Mensah out during his loan spell last season.
The youngster has made 77 tackles this season. Only one defender Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira has made more (80).
It’s clear he could be a good signing for United. The problem is that only last summer United paid £17.4 million to sign Diogo Dalot.
Dalot has shown some really promising signs and could be the future of the position at Old Trafford.
Signing Wan-Bissaka would threaten Dalot’s development and could end up making the former Porto man an unnecessary.
On one hand United should be looking for the best player, but at the same time, the club need to allow players they have invested in the right time to thrive.
The right-back position is certainly one which needs addressing, if not immediately.
Antonio Valencia is likely to be moved on in the summer. Ashley Young appears set to stay for another year, and will compete with Dalot.
Matteo Darmian is another option currently, but he is another candidate to be sold in the summer if an attractive offer comes in. If Valencia goes, United may keep him as cover.
United still hope Timothy Fosu-Mensah will come good. The current signs from his disastrous loan at Fulham are not good.
The Times report Bayer Leverkusen want to sign him on loan, which could help rebuild his form and confidence and return in the summer like a new player.
There’s a limit
So on one hand, adding Wan-Bissaka makes some sense, to provide Dalot with competition.
The deciding factor is likely to be the price. If Palace are asking for more than £20 million, United will probably walk away considering the investment in Dalot last summer.
Money needs to more urgently be spent on a centre-back or even two, possibly another midfielder, and a winger or two.
If the price is not right, expect United to roll over the current situation, and use Young as cover with one of Darmian and Valencia staying, while giving Fosu-Mensah one more year to prove himself. The club can get away with this for one more season.
Should Dalot fail to kick on, United may have to sign a more proven and experienced right-back in 2020 if the situation is not resolved. The risk is that Wan-Bissaka may be gone elsewhere by then.