Man Utd ready to ‘hijack’ Chelsea defender pursuit

Man Utd are looking to hijack Chelsea’s move for a teenage right-back this month

Manchester United are looking to hijack Chelsea’s proposed move for Lyon defender Malo Gusto, according to RMC journalist Fabrice Hawkins. The right-back looked increasingly likely to join the Blues this month.

Gusto came through the ranks at Lyon before establishing himself as a first-team regular last season, where he became the youngest defender to start a Ligue 1 game for the club since Samuel Umtiti. The 19-year-old has now started all 15 matches this term and has had a positive impact on a disappointing period for the French club.

Fabrizio Romano claimed on Twitter that Gusto has already agreed personal terms over a move to Chelsea, who are now in negotiations with Lyon, though have so far had one offer rejected. The report claims that United will now look to jump ahead of the Blues and thrash out an agreement over a move for the teenager.

Despite Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s recent appearances in the team, it is believed that the Red Devils are continuing to look for his replacement. The 25-year-old has only featured seven times in the Premier League this season, though he has started their last six league games with first-choice Diogo Dalot injured. The Portugal international triggered a one-year extension in his contract earlier this season and has improved under Erik ten Hag’s guidance.

With Gusto’s current deal at Lyon set to expire in summer 2024, the French giants could be under pressure to cash in as his contract approaches the final year. A move to Old Trafford will certainly be more attractive to Gusto if Chelsea’s Champions League aspirations continue to stitter, while he would face a real challenge to displace Reece James in their starting line-up.