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Real Madrid interested in signing Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot

Real Madrid are considering a move for Manchester United and Portugal right-back Diogo Dalot, who has just over a year left on his Old Trafford contract.

Real Madrid are considering a move for Manchester United and Portugal right-back Diogo Dalot, who has just over a year left on his Old Trafford contract.

Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Diogo Dalot, who is yet to renew his contract at Manchester United. Madrid are combing the market for a long-term successor to first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal, leading Los Blancos to set their sights on a player who is enjoying an excellent season in the Premier League.

In addition to making excellent progress at Old Trafford, Dalot has established himself in the Portugal team, starting three out of the Seleção’s five games at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Real Madrid shift attentions from João Cancelo

Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti had identified João Cancelo as a potential signing at right-back, but the Manchester City player’s recent loan switch to Bayern Munich looks to have ended any prospect of the defender, who is also a Portugal international, arriving at the Bernabéu.

There had been disagreement within Madrid about a move for Cancelo, with question marks raised about his character. These doubts were solidified when the player left City after falling out with boss Pep Guardiola, having also clashed with Portugal coach Fernando Santos at the World Cup.

Cancelo’s age is also a concern at Madrid - he will be 29 in May. Given Bayern’s clear interest in triggering a €70m purchase option at the end of the season, he appears set to remain in Munich.

Madrid's interest in João Cancelo has cooled.
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Madrid's interest in João Cancelo has cooled.LEONHARD SIMONREUTERS

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Dalot attitude impresses Man United, Portugal bosses

At 23, Dalot is significantly younger than Cancelo, who he has displaced in the Portugal team. A player Ancelotti also knows well from his time working in the Premier League, he has greatly impressed Santos with his tenacious attitude.

United boss Erik ten Hag is also delighted with the dedication shown by the Porto youth product, who has had to overcome a tough adaptation process since moving to England as a 19-year-old. “He’s one of the most professional youngsters I’ve ever met,” Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has said of his compatriot.

Madrid could seek reduced fee - or free transfer

For months now, United have been working to tie Dalot down to a new contract. His current terms run out in 2024, and the Red Devils don’t want the player to head into the summer period with only 12 months left on his deal.

For Madrid, there would be two options if Dalot’s contract situation remains unresolved. The 14-time European champions could seek to sign him for a knockdown fee in the summer, using his soon-to-expire contract as a bargaining chip to reduce United’s asking price. Alternatively, Madrid could wait until 2024 to snap Dalot up as a free agent, as was their strategy in the recent signings of David Alaba and Antonio Rüdiger.

Carvajal and Vázquez both wrong side of 30

What seems clear is that Madrid need to bring in fresh blood at right-back. Carvajal has just turned 31, while converted winger Lucas Vázquez, who has frequently deputised on the right side of defence, will be 32 in July.

Los Merengues have the option of promoting Vinícius Tobías from the club’s ‘B’ team, but even if they do add the 18-year-old Brazilian to the senior squad, a more established performer would also need to be brought in.

Carvajal isn't getting any younger.
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Carvajal isn't getting any younger.ANDREW BOYERSAction Images via Reuters

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