Manchester United, having already dealt a blow to Barcelona’s European ambitions by knocking them out of the Europa League play-off round after a 4-3 win on aggregate in February, are set to ruin their transfer plans by extending Diogo Dalot’s contract.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed the club’s intentions to sign a new right-back in the summer transfer window, with Xavi currently forced to rely on centre-backs Jules Kounde and Ronald Araújo to cover the position.
Dalot is highly rated in Catalunya and has shown this season under Erik ten Hag that he has the technical ability to play for a possession-heavy side. Kounde and Araujo have defended well, but the Portuguese’ tendency to regularly find forwards in the final third could really improve Xavi’s side at the opposite end.
The 23-year-old didn’t start against Barcelona in the Europa League but is considered Ten Hag’s first choice right-back. United hierarchy recognise his importance, and are working on extending his stay at Old Trafford.
Manchester United working on agreeing a deal with Barcelona target
Dalot was initially set to become a free agent at the end of the current season, but United activated the one-year extension clause in his contract. And now, according to the Sun, the Premier League giants are trying to tie down the Barcelona target for several more years. It is claimed that the Red Devils are in ‘advanced talks’ over a new long-term deal.
Meanwhile, João Cancelo has reportedly emerged as an option for Barcelona. The Portugal international, who lost his starting spot at left-back to Dalot during the World Cup 2022, is currently at Bayern Munich on loan from Manchester City.
Cancelo moved to Bayern after falling down the pecking order under Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. And after failing to impress Julian Nagelsmann as well, he’s expected to land at another club in the summer.