Man Utd bids for €35m pair sparks Barcelona interest in Arsenal ‘Plan B’

Date published: Thursday 18th August 2022 12:04 - Will Ford

Man Utd target Sergino Dest runs with the ball

Manchester United are looking at a pair of right-backs to provide competition for Diogo Dalot, which could lead Barcelona to move for an Arsenal wantaway.

Dalot has emerged as United’s first choice right-back in recent months with both Ralf Rangnick and now Erik ten Hag preferring the Portugal international to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

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The Red Devils are reportedly ‘hoping’ to offload Wan-Bissaka on a temporary or permanent basis this summer.

The player’s former club Crystal Palace are believed to be interested and are willing to pay £10m, which would be a ‘huge and embarrassing’ £40m loss for United.

A report on Wednesday claimed United are closing in on Barcelona’s Sergino Dest as his replacement.

Talks between United and Barca are now reportedly at the ‘final stages’, with the USA international – who was also linked with a move to Chelsea earlier in the summer – expected to cost €20m (£16.8m).

A further report claims the club are looking at the possibility of signing Borussia Dortmund and Belgium defender Thomas Meunier, whom they were interested in before signing Wan-Bissaka in 2019.

United are yet to make an offer for the 30-year-old but are thought to be preparing a €15m (£12.6m) bid.

Barcelona boss Xavi is thought to be willing to part with Dest, but any move for a new right-back depends on his sale.

They too are interested in Meunier, but won’t be able to compete financially with United, and they’re also keen on former Tottenham star Juan Foyth, though the Villarreal defender’s release clause of €42m will be a stumbling block.

They have a ‘Plan B’ though, according to Sport, who believe they may turn to Hector Bellerin, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011.

The 27-year-old’s return to the Nou Camp ‘are gaining strength with each passing day’.

Bellerin’s contract at Arsenal runs until next summer but he wants to be playing his football in Spain having enjoyed his loan spell with Real Betis last season.

The right-back is said to be currently negotiating with Arsenal to be released from his contract which would enable him to leave the Emirates for free this summer.

So, in summary: Manchester United want Dest and Meunier; Barcelona also want Meunier but can’t move for him without Dest leaving for Manchester United; if Dest does leave for United, Barcelona may move for Meunier, or Bellerin.

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