A host of Championship clubs are keeping a watchful eye on Amad Diallo as they consider an approach for the Manchester United winger in the summer.
Alan Nixon (The Sun) reveals both Birmingham City and Watford are “lining up” a loan move for the Ivorian, who lit up the league last season while at Sunderland.
Diallo relocated to the Stadium of Light for the 2022/23 season, scoring fourteen goals and providing three assists as he helped his newly adopted side reach the playoffs.
Though Sunderland would ultimately end up losing to Luton in the semi-finals, the 21-year-old’s performances for the Black Cats were so electric he won the PFA Championship Fans’ Player of the Year, as well as his club’s Supporter’s Young Player of the Year award.
Diallo returned to Old Trafford last summer, hoping to impress Erik ten Hag on United’s pre-season tour of America.
Disaster struck, however, as the winger was forced off the pitch in the friendly against Arsenal with a serious knee injury. He would require surgery on the injury, and was sidelined for over five months.
Diallo eventually returned to the fold over the Christmas period, coming on as a substitute in the disappointing 2-1 loss to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Even in this fleeting appearance, the Ivorian demonstrated the skill and technique which made Sunderland fans fall in love with him the previous year.
Amad has not seen another minute of first-team football since this point, however. The 21-year-old was linked with a loan move away from Old Trafford in January, in search of more opportunities on the pitch.
Middlesbrough – headed by former United midfielder Michael Carrick – were one interested party, but Nixon contends Diallo rejected their offer. Instead, it was agreed he would remain at United for the remainder of the season following “positive talks” with Ten Hag.
Carrick, in his brief stint as interim manager at Old Trafford, included the Ivorian in three of his match-day squads. Following the winger’s goal for Sunderland against Middlesbrough last season, Carrick personally praised Diallo’s skillset.
“I know Amad very well from United. He’s a terrific footballer and seems to have jumped up a level again from the start of the season. His performances have improved and he is a threat.
“He’s a talented player, really smooth on the ball and has a lovely feel for how he takes the ball. He’s sharp, has injection and he sees space very well. Obviously I know him and have watched him very closely. He’s not easy to stop because he’s one of the better players.”
It’s a similar point of admiration at Birmingham City, now coached by Tony Mowbray – the same manager who welcomed Diallo to the Stadium of Light at Sunderland. Nixon reveals Mowbray “rates [Diallo] highly” and would love for his new team to reunite him with the player in the summer.
Similarly, Nixon reports Watford made an approach for Amad in January but were rebuffed. Instead, they are now “planning a serious summer move — possibly even with an offer to buy him at Udinese, who are owned like the Hornets by the Pozzo family, and send him back to England.”
With the recent emergence of Alejandro Garnacho as strong option on the right, there is quite the queue forming on the wing ahead of Diallo in Ten Hag’s squad. And given the club are believed to be targeting another right-winger in the summer, United may be tempted to find a new home for the 21-year-old in the next transfer window.