Barcelona are targeting Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot in their latest attempts to strengthen their defence under Xavi, according to reports in Spain.
The Blaugrana added Hector Bellerin on a free transfer on deadline day as one of four new defensive additions over the summer, with Andreas Christensen, Jules Kounde and Marcos Alonso all also arriving.
The 27-year-old right-back only signed a one-year deal with the Camp Nou outfit, however, suggesting that they are still keen to strengthen the position come next summer, when Bellerin will likely leave.
And their primary target to replace the Spaniard is Manchester United’s current first choice right-back Dalot, report Sport, claiming that the club have scouted him on several occasions now as they look to take advantage of his contract situation.
The 23-year-old’s current deal expires in 2023, though there is an option to extend it for a further year which is likely to be taken up by the Red Devils given the defender’s current importance to Erik ten Hag’s side.
Dalot has missed just four minutes of Premier League action so far this campaign, and is the undisputed first choice at the club having ousted Aaron Wan-Bissaka during Ralf Rangnick’s time in charge.
However, Sport report“it seems that there is consensus that he is a footballer with a full Barça profile”, while they add that Dalot’s preference should he leave Manchester United would be Barcelona, despite interest from AC Milan and Juventus.
Xavi and co. already explored a deal for the defender last summer, which involved a swap with Barcelona full-back Sergino Dest. It was rebuffed, however, and Dest is now on loan with AC Milan, something that Dalot himself did in 2020/21.
With the defender’s stock on the rise, however, Manchester United will need to find a new contract agreement soon to prevent Europe’s top clubs from stealing him away at a bargain price.