When Erik ten Hag took over the reins at Manchester United at the end of a dismal campaign, he quickly identified that the spine of the team needed an injection of quality.
In came Lisandro Martinez to fix a leaky defence and he has turned out to be a revelation and will return to the club as a World Cup winner.
Another important puzzle that needed a bit more time to fix was the issue of a lack of guile and bite in the centre of the pitch. Free agent Christian Eriksen arrived to add silk but the steel part was still missing.
United’s long and arduous midfield hunt
That particular chase was a prolonged affair with United first targeting Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona, even going as far as to agree a fee with the Catalan giants.
When that deal failed to materialise, the Red Devils proceeded to try and complete a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot. But his mother’s extraordinary wage demands meant the deal ultimately broke down.
That is when the 20-time English league champions stumbled their way to Casemiro and a record deal was agreed between United and Real Madrid.
— John Birky (@John_Birky) December 19, 2022
However, there is a chance Rabiot may still arrive at Old Trafford if a recent report from Calciomercatoweb is to be believed.
According to the Italian publication, the Turin-based club are looking to add to the right-side of their defence and have identified Diogo Dalot as the perfect fit. Juventus are “ready to go wild in the imminent winter transfer market.”
And in order to get their man, they are willing to send their French World Cup finalist to United in exchange for the Portuguese full-back in January.
Craziest swap deal idea of January
The Frenchman’s contract is set to expire on June 30th of next year and has not agreed a contract extension. Dalot is on a similar boat, but the Reds recently initiated the one-year extension option in his contract.
“Juventus would go so far as to offer Adrien Rabiot’s card, valued at around 15 million euros, to avoid losing him to zero and grab a thick profile for the right defense lane.”
Take this report with a pinch of salt as Ten Hag values Dalot far too much and the club are also trying to get him to sign a lucrative long-term contract.
As for Rabiot, it is unlikely that United will be back in for him despite his World Cup exploits. Ten Hag is likely to target a younger star to slot into the Reds midfield next summer.
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