3 minute read 10/8/2021 | 05:05pm
Manchester United have reportedly ended their lengthy pursuit of Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier.
What’s the story? The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the 30-year-old defender in recent weeks, although they were unwilling to match the £34 million buyout clause inserted into his contract, a figure Atleti were unwilling to compromise on.
Now, according to The Times, United are set to end their interest in Trippier and will instead allow Diogo Dalot to challenge Aaron Wan-Bissaka for the first-choice right-back position this season.
Dalot is believed to have impressed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the pre-season and is now expected to stay with the first-team squad for the upcoming campaign.
The Portuguese international had himself been linked with an Old Trafford exit, as Italian giants AC Milan were keen to take the 22-year-old on loan for a second successive season.
Is Dalot good enough for United?
Solsjkaer could save the Glazers millions Dalot has struggled for game time since arriving on English shores from boyhood club Porto back in 2018, making just 35 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils during his three-year stay.
The arrival of Wan-Bissaka in a whopping £50m deal saw the youngster fall even further down United’s pecking order, and he was forced to go out on loan last term in search of regular minutes.
However, after joining Milan for the entire 2020/21 campaign, Dalot thrived. The versatile full-back discovered his best form at the San Siro, helping Stefano Pioli’s side to a second-place finish in the Serie A standings.
Throughout his 12-month spell with the Rossoneri, Dalot made 33 appearances, achieving a highly respectable 6.76 WhoScored rating along the way.
We bet you can’t get 100% on this big MUFC 20/21 season review quiz! How many home league games did United win last season? And his contribution to the success of Stefano Pioli’s side was sizeable, recording an average of 1.5 tackles per league game, 1.2 interceptions and 1.8 clearances, placing him in the top six compared to his teammates for each metric, as per WhoScored.
Dalot’s standout displays earned praise from Milan manager Pioli, who claimed the United gem “will become a complete player” in the future.
The former Porto prodigy was rewarded for his improved form with a late call-up to Portugal’s squad for Euro 2020 after Joao Cancelo tested positive for Covid-19, and the right-back ended up making his senior debut for the national side as a late substitute against France.
By placing his trust in Dalot, Solskjaer could save United’s owners, the Glazer family, millions. The need to spend a substantial sum on Trippier has now been eradicated, allowing the club’s hierarchy to focus their resources on a new defensive midfielder instead.
And, in other news…Murtough must avoid MUFC transfer nightmare over £40.5m-rated gem, Ole would be fuming