Manchester United are determined to bring in a right-back to provide cover and competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka but have had their plans upset by an FA ban.
There are three natural alternatives to Wan-Bissaka at the club in Brandon Williams, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Diogo Dalot, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have little faith in the trio. Dalot has been loaned out to AC Milan this season and the other two have been overlooked, with the boss preferring to repurpose centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe when Wan-Bissaka was unavailable.
According to The Athletic, Solskjaer wants an established player with proven credentials as a ready-made alternative and had made Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier his number one target.
However, Trippier was found guilty of breaching gambling rules in December and banned for 10 weeks from December 23rd, throwing the transfer into major doubt.
‘A deal for this month was being discussed before the FA handed the England international a 10-week ban for betting offences,’ the outlet claims.
‘There was a belief within Old Trafford that Trippier could be convinced to return from the Spanish capital to his native North West this January, but his suspension until the start of March ended such hopes.
‘In any case, Atletico indicated they would want to break even on their £20 million signing and United are not thought to be allocating excessive funds to the position.
‘It remains to be seen if negotiations with Atletico are reprised should Trippier’s appeal against the length of his ban be successful.
‘He will have 12 months left on his Atletico contract in the summer and United may reignite the pursuit then.’
Trippier received the ban for telling friends that he was moving to Atleti and appearing to advise them to place a bet on the fact in a Whatsapp chat.
The FA asked FIFA to apply the ban worldwide, which they initially did, but it has subsequently been put on hold pending an appeal. It is unclear whether the FA ban would still hold even if the FIFA ban was overturned.
United have also been linked with Norwich City’s Max Aarons but that is reported to be a more long-term plan and The Athletic says ‘United will look at other right-backs during this window but no transfer will be completed simply to make up the numbers.’
It must be said that if the club was baulking at paying £20 million, a world-class ready-made right back for less than that amount, mid-season, seems like a tall order to say the least.
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