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Manchester United ‘ready to trigger Diogo Dalot contract extension’

Manchester United ‘ready to trigger Diogo Dalot contract extension’

Manchester United are reportedly prepared to trigger a one-year extension in Diogo Dalot‘s contract to keep the right-back on the books at Old Trafford until 2024.

The 23-year-old initially struggled to oust Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the Red Devils’ first-choice right-back, but he has cemented his place in the side under Erik ten Hag.

Dalot has started all 12 of Man United’s games in all tournaments this season, coming up with one assist in the Premier League and another in the Europa League.

The Portugal international is due to become a free agent at the end of the season, but Man United possess the option to extend his stay for another 12 months.

With uncertainty lingering over his long-term future, Barcelona and Juventus are both said to be ready to pounce if Dalot ultimately leaves the Red Devils.

Diogo Dalot in action for Manchester United on August 27, 2022© Reuters

However, ESPN reports that Man United are now ready to trigger the one-year option in Dalot’s contract to avoid the possibility of the defender walking out of the door for nothing next year.

As a result, Barcelona and other interested parties will be forced to negotiate a fee with Ten Hag’s side should they wish to continue their pursuit of Dalot next summer.

It remains to be seen if the former Porto man will earn a long-term extension at the Theatre of Dreams, and Man United could still lose him on a free transfer in 2024 if fresh terms are not agreed.

Dalot represented Porto for 11 years before earning a £19.8m move to Man United in 2018, and he has since registered one goal and five assists in 77 outings for the Red Devils.

The defender is still waiting for his first piece of silverware with the Red Devils, and he was shipped out on loan to AC Milan for the 2020-21 season.

A dejected Diogo Dalot in action for Manchester United on August 13, 2022© Reuters

Stefano Pioli made Dalot a regular during his time with the Rossoneri, who were pushing to sign the right-back to permanent terms after he amassed two goals and three assists in 33 outings for the reigning Serie A champions.

Dalot revealed earlier this year that he turned down the chance to return to San Siro in order to make a name for himself at Man United, but he credited his stint in Serie A with improving his skill set.

“Milan are a great club and I loved the season with the Rossoneri. But it (transfer) wasn’t just up to me. In the end I decided to stay at United and it was the right decision,” Dalot told the press.

“If I’m a better defender I owe it to Milan. Italian football is different from the Premier League and I had to adapt in just one year and playing in Serie A has helped me a lot.

“Over the past two years here in Manchester, the minutes have increased and, consequently, so has self-esteem.”

Dalot is expected to be named in the first XI when Manchester United return to Premier League action at home to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, with Ten Hag’s side currently fifth in the table.

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