Jose Mourinho makes current Manchester United player his ‘top target’ for January window
The ex-Manchester United boss is hoping to sign his Portuguese compatriot, according to reports in Italy.
Jose Mourinho may look to bring Diogo Dalot to Roma in January. Credit: Getty.
According to reports, the Portuguese manager is interested in luring Diogo Dalot to the Italian capital, with Mourinho responsible for signing the full-back in 2018 when he was United boss.
Gazzetta dello Sport claimed over the weekend that the ex-Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur coach has told Roma’s technical director Tiago Pinto to make Dalot the club’s top target in January.
Mourinho is also believed to be keen on a reunion with the defender given his time in Italy, with Dalot spending last season on loan at AC Milan.
Could a deal happen?
A few weeks ago, a move for the 22-year-old seemed a real possibility, but Dalot has begun life excellently under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
The former Porto man started in the midweek win over Arsenal, and retained his place for Rangnick’s inaugural game in the United hotseat, Sunday’s 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace.
Dalot put in impressive displays in both games and was a significant offensive upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was first choice at right-back under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
As per Statman Dave, Dalot completed fives passes into the penalty area on Sunday, more than any other player, and a change in the managerial hotseat has had an immediate benefit for the youngster.
It’s for that reason a deal for Dalot seems unlikely at this stage. He’s also one of only two right-backs at the club presently, although youth-team graduates Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird are out on loan.
Dalot’s impact against Palace
Speaking after Sunday’s win at Old Trafford, Rangnick also highlighted the significant impact Dalot had on United’s style, with the defender pushing forward on the right flank in a narrow 4-2-2-2 shape.
“We had enough space with Jadon [Sancho] and Bruno [Fernandes] in those 10 positions for our full-backs to always play forward and ask for the ball on the wing,” the United boss explained after the Palace victory.
“So they both played almost like wing-backs, especially in the first-half, Alex [Telles] and Diogo, did extremely well offensively and that’s the reason I decided to play with 4-2-2-2. I’m a big fan of every player playing in his best possible position.”
Dalot also spoke to United’s club media team after the win, saying: “It’s not easy when you’re outside [the starting XI] and you don’t play as much, but it’s our job to keep ready and I think I was doing a fantastic job outside the pitch being ready.
‘’When the opportunity comes, I now feel I need to keep going and give everything when I’m on the pitch too.’’