Chelsea look set to continue their transfer hijacking spree by signing Olympique Lyonnaise defender Malo Gusto from under Manchester United’s noses.
The young right back has been linked with the Red Devils going back to the summer, with the 19-year-old having been earmarked as a player who could reinforce a fairly weak position in Erik ten Hag’s squad.
Diogo Dalot has enjoyed a fine campaign under the new manager, but up until a couple of weeks ago he appeared to be the only right back trusted by the Dutchman.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka had played just four minutes of Premier League football on return to action after the World Cup break.
He has since put together a run of good performances, surprising many with his contribution to his team’s attacking phase.
However question marks still remain, with many still viewing the former Crystal Palace man as unreliable in possession and ill-suited to Ten Hag’s methods.
Malo Gusto, as one of the most talented young fullbacks in world football, would represent a fine option to nail down the right back position for years to come.
At 19 he has already established himself as a regular for Lyon and, while he has on occasion filled in at centre back, he possesses attacking qualities in line with Ten Hag’s methodology.
He is an exceptionally creative fullback, registering 1.4 key passes per game and 1.9 crosses per game so far this season.
For reference, even over the course of Wan-Bissaka’s impressive run in the team this season, the 25-year-old has managed just 0.8 key passes per game and only 0.5 crosses per 90.
While Gusto would be a fine addition to United’s ranks – and would perhaps have been fairly easy to acquire last summer after he first started making waves – it seems that interest in the player is about to reach fever pitch.
Chelsea are, according to L’Equipe, keen to bolster their defence with the Lyon starlet after bringing in Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix and Noni Madueke to strengthen their attack during the January transfer window.
They are far from the only team competing for Gusto, however, with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Borussia Dortmund all monitoring the player too.
But given Chelsea’s success with getting deals – however seemingly scattergun – over the line under Todd Boehly and his consortium, the safe money looks to be on the Blues for now.
That would certainly be the case should the player decide to move in January, since few clubs, least of all Man United, are able to match Chelsea’s financial strength at present.
Should Gusto stay put, that may yet change in summer, though even then United would likely only enter the fray in response to a change in circumstances for either Dalot or Wan-Bissaka.
United Matchday Magazine – be in the know about everything in red!
Still itching for more United content? Get everything you need right here. For just £1.25 per issue/£3.75 a month you’ll receive unique insights into United, straight to your inbox – before every match and throughout the month.
- Get the exclusive build-up to each match, plus team news, tactics and history.
- Not only that – United Matchday is jam-packed with articles, news, transfer news, puzzles, nostalgia and humour.
- Impress your friends and be in the know about everything in red!