Manchester United are looking to sign a new right-back in the January transfer window but they are currently keeping their options open.
Diogo Dalot has earned plenty of plaudits for his performances this season but Erik ten Hag has seemingly deemed Aaron Wan-Bissaka surplus to requirements.
If Wan-Bissaka leaves Old Trafford in January, United will need to sign a replacement who can provide competition to Dalot.
We’ve taken a look at five right-backs that United have been linked with in recent months.
A Norwich City academy graduate, Aarons was promoted to the senior squad in August 2018 and has since made over 175 appearances for the club.
Bayern Munich and Barcelona were linked with the right-back during the 2020/21 season but refused to meet the £35m asking price.
According to a report from Football Insider, United have shortlisted the 22-year-old, who is now valued at around the £15m mark.
“I think it would be a no-brainer for Max Aarons if Manchester United came calling for him,” Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke told GiveMeSport. “He wants to be playing in the Premier League and he doesn’t want to be playing in the Championship.
“He’s got really big aspirations and he’s been linked with a number of top clubs over the years, so I think the opportunity to go to Old Trafford would be something he couldn’t turn down.”
The England Under-21 international is also a client of former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand, who believes the right-back could be a Chris Smalling-type signing for Ten Hag’s side.
While he’s struggled for consistency this season, Aarons remains a talented prospect and would suit Ten Hag’s style of play.
Frimpong started his career in Manchester City’s academy and played alongside Jadon Sancho, but he didn’t make a first-team appearance for the club.
After moving to Celtic in the summer of 2019, he helped them win the domestic treble in his debut season and also won their Young Player of the Year award.
The defender joined Bayer Leverkusen in a deal worth a reported £11.5m in January 2021 and has since taken his game up another level.
Frimpong, who predominantly operates as a wing-back but can still play as an orthodox right-back, doesn’t shirk his defensive duties but is undoubtedly an attack-minded player.
The Netherlands Under-21 international has five goals and an assist in 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, and he also set up both of Bayer Leverkusen’s goals in their 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage.
“His ability to accelerate and decelerate is world-class. If you’re world-class at something at Celtic and in the Bundesliga, that’s also the case in other leagues,” Bayer Leverkusen’s managing director Simon Rolfes said.
“There were other things he had to improve when he came, and he has done fantastic. He has the right ambition to work on himself.”
Sky Sport Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg claims that Frimpong is on United’s list of targets and Fabrizio Romano has since revealed that they’ve sent scouts to watch him.
Another Dutch defender, Dumfries joined Inter Milan in 2021 as a replacement for Achraf Hakimi in the right wing-back role.
The 26-year-old helped fill the void left by Hakimi and has become a key player for Simone Inzaghi’s side due to his defensive work rate and his attacking output.
He registered five goals and seven assists in 45 appearances last season and has already got five direct goal contributions in 2022/23.
According to CalcioMercatoWeb, United are readying an offer for Dumfries and the report claims he would welcome the opportunity to work under fellow countryman Ten Hag at Old Trafford.
InterLive state that the full-back is valued at around €45-50m and the Serie A side are already looking at possible replacements.
But United could face competition from some Premier League rivals as he’s reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Chelsea and Tottenham.
“The interest flatters me, of course,” Dumfries recently told De Telegraaf. “But my focus is only on Inter. We want to win the Scudetto because we lost it last season.”
Lyon are renowned for producing world-class footballers in their academy and Gusto is the latest talent from their conveyor belt.
He made his first-team debut at the age of 17 in January 2021 before enjoying a breakout campaign last season, registering five assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.
Having started out as an attacking midfielder, the 19-year-old possesses excellent technique and vision, but he does have some flaws in his defensive skillset.
“Rather attacking, punchy, powerful, fast, technically adept,” he said when asked to describe his style. “And I think those are the qualities that a modern fullback should have today. I know I still have to work on my defensive positioning and tracking back.”
According to 90min, Gusto is emerging as one of the most in-demand teenagers in European football. The report adds that United made an enquiry for the France Under-21 international in the summer and have since sent scouts to compile reports on him.
But Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham are also making regular checks on his progress.
Lyon want to reward Gusto with a new contract but his current deal expires at the end of the 2023/24 season and teams could look to take advantage of the contract situation by signing the right-back in a bargain deal.
Since joining Monaco from Gremio in a £9.6m deal in the January transfer window, Vanderson has established himself as one of the most promising players in his position.
Unlike Wan-Bissaka, the attack-minded right-back is renowned for his passing and crossing ability and has been deployed further forward by Monaco. His style of play has also prompted comparisons with fellow Brazilian Dani Alves.
Despite the fact that Vanderson signed a new five-year deal with Monaco in August, Sport claim that 2022/23 will be his second and final season with the Ligue 1 side.
United director of football John Murtough has reportedly spoken to the defender’s representatives about a switch to Old Trafford.
Sport also say that the 21-year-old is attracting interest from Barcelona, who were quoted €60m (£52m) by Monaco during the summer transfer window.
But the La Liga side will not engage in a bidding war for Vanderson as they don’t have the finances to overpower English clubs.
“He had an exceptional adaptation here [last season],” Monaco manager Philippe Clement said. “We have already spoken about that. He is also a player who is and continues to interest lots of big clubs.
“That can possibly do something to the mindset, not that he didn’t have his feet on the ground, but Vanderson is very ambitious and a huge perfectionist.”
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