Varane trains in quarantine ahead of Man Utd move
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Manchester United look to have completed all of their transfer business ahead of the start of the Premier League season – and one aspect of their work will please Dimitar Berbatov.
United have grabbed the headlines this summer through their high-profile acquisitions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
Sancho has already become a part of the squad following his £73million move from Borussia Dortmund, while Varane will be unveiled later this week after completing quarantine measures ahead of a £34m transfer from Real Madrid which could rise to £43m.
United had also been targeting a right-back, with Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier their first-choice target for the position.
Trippier initially appeared to be available for a cut-price £10m fee and was keen to move back to England following a successful few seasons in Spain.
However, Atleti played hard ball over the transfer fee, demanding around £30m for his signature, prompting United to back off.
That decision appeared to be at odds with former United striker Berbatov’s pleas to the club’s hierarchy on Tuesday.
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“The United team is in a good place,” he told Betfair. “They could possibly look to strengthen in the right-back position.
“Aaron Wan-Bissaka is definitely first choice but I would like to see him have a solid back-up who will challenge and push him.
“Other than that, I think they are pretty complete as a team.”
With United not moving for Trippier, the club have been forced to consider Plan B: making use of those already in their ranks.
Having previously been keen to offload Diogo Dalot, the Portuguese full-back now appears set to stay and fight for a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Dalot joined United for £19m from Porto in June 2018 but has made just 35 competitive appearances for the club since.
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The 22-year-old performed well while on loan with AC Milan last season, making 21 appearances in Serie A at both right-back and left-back.
Milan were happy to extend his stay in Italy, but United’s demands of around £4m (€4.6m) in loan fees and an option to buy were turned down.
That now appears to be a blessing in disguise, with Dalot having impressed Solskjaer in pre-season.
Manchester Evening News reports that Dalot could still depart the club on loan, but the Portugal international is pleased with the opportunities he has had in pre-season and is confident of providing worthy competition for Wan-Bissaka.
It is early days in Dalot’s reintegration to the side, but his promising recent pre-season performances – particularly in scoring against Everton – look set to save United some valuable money, while his versatility will allow him to provide cover for a variety of positions.
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