With Manchester United yet to make a move in the transfer market, speculation exists over how much money the club actually have to spend.
The Evening Standard report United will need to sell players to fund any deals which come additional to a Jadon Sancho transfer – if that deal even goes ahead.
United have sold just one first team player so far, Alexis Sanchez, although there was no fee involved, getting rid of his wages is considered a success.
The most interesting case relating to a player’s future and United’s need for cash is regarding Diogo Dalot.
Dalot is out of favour at United and something has to give. But do United really need to sell?
A loan could be useful
United made a big commitment to Dalot when he was signed for £19 million in 2018.
Former manager Jose Mourinho praised him at the time, commenting: “In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe.
“He is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club.”
Two years on, are United really ready to throw Dalot’s potential away and cash in?
It is fair to say Dalot does not have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favour. He started just one match after lockdown.
Part of Dalot’s problem is that he began both seasons injured and in two seasons he has played just 17 Premier League games out of a possible 76, starting 13.
Have United really had a good enough look at Dalot to fairly judge his talent and write him off?
You need only look at Serge Gnabry shining for Bayern Munich to see how easy it is for big clubs to mis-judge a talented young player who suffered early with injuries. United should buy themselves extra time to take judgement.
There is a strong case that United should send him out on loan, for one or even two seasons, to let him develop his game and improve.
If the same decision was made with Memphis Depay in 2017, United would have a valuable attacker on our hands right now.
Dalot still has the potential to be a top full-back and from an attacking perspective plays more fluidly than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, to the point that there has been debate as to whether his best position could be as a winger.
He could go out and find himself and his best position under a manager who believes in him, and return to Old Trafford as a better player.
Even if there is no route back into the side at United, the club may be able to command a higher fee if he has a good season somewhere, as opposed to selling in a depreciated transfer market due to the pandemic.
In the case of another injury hit season out on loan, United could probably still fetch a similar fee next summer for Dalot than what we would get this year, with The Sun linking Everton earlier this month with a £10 million move.
Taking the money would tell it’s own story
Giving Dalot one more year to prove himself, elsewhere on loan, is the sensible move for Manchester United.
Taking a fee of just £10 million now would be an impulsive move based on an underwhelming season, rather than looking at the bigger picture.
But if this is what United choose, it will show where the club is at financially, that as much funds as possible are needed right now to bolster the transfer budget and shore up the accounts.
United could still get £10 million for Dalot in 12 months time, possibly more if he does well, or a decision could be made to give him a second chance if he goes to a club and has the best season of his career.
The decision United take with Dalot will tell it’s own story of how badly United need money, chosen above showing patience and developing a talented young player.
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