Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

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Roma enquire about Man United defender Diogo Dalot as part of Smalling transfer

2 min read

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is closing in on a permanent move to Roma but Diogo Dalot is unlikely to be part of the deal.

The MEN understands Roma enquired about the possibility of taking Dalot, 21, on loan but United would prefer to sell the right-back for a fee.

Dalot, 21, was a surprise starter ahead of Timothy Fosu-Mensah in United’s Carabao Cup win at Brighton on Thursday night, having last lined up in the FA Cup quarter-final at Norwich on June 27.

The Portuguese has been linked with a move to AC Milan and the MEN revealed this week fellow right-back Ethan Laird has been restored to the United first-team squad.

Roma have reached a breakthrough in negotiations for Smalling, 30, after United rejected their initial bid for the centre-back. United are holding out for between £15million and £20m for Smalling, who has entered the last two years of his contract and spent last season on loan with Roma.

Smalling, who joined United from Fulham for £10m in 2010, has been training separately from the first-team squad at Carrington in anticipation of leaving.

Dalot has started once in the Premier League in the last 16 months and not played in the league since February. He has been out of favour with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his dismal performance in the Europa League knockout draw with Club Brugge on February 20.

United signed Dalot from Porto for £19million in 2018 and he has made just 25 starts and 10 substitute appearances.

If Dalot leaves before Monday’s deadline, Laird, Fosu-Mensah and the right-footed Brandon Williams could provide competition for the tentative Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with United keen to sign Porto left-back Alex Telles to challenge Luke Shaw on the opposite flank.

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