Roma boss Jose Mourinho earmarks Manchester United star Diogo Dalot to replace Ainslie Maitland-Niles
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sport Witness (h/t The Sun), AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho is not convinced by Arsenal loanee Ainslie Maitland-Niles and wants to sign Manchester United star Diogo Dalot instead.
The Portuguese full-back was signed by Mourinho during his time at Man United in 2018. Although the 59-year-old did not last long after, his defensive signing is still a part of the furniture at Old Trafford.
Now, it is said that Mourinho wants to sign Dalot once again, but this time for his new side in Rome. The 22-year-old is seen as an alternative for Arsenal star Maitland-Niles, whose loan spell with the Italian club expires at the end of the current campaign.
Maitland-Niles only moved to the Serie A side in the January transfer window on a loan, as the player sought a move away from north London in search of more minutes after dropping down the pecking order at the Gunners this season.
Did not convince
Mourinho was an admirer of Maitland-Niles’ versatility that he showed at the Emirates Stadium. But since making the move to Italy, the Roma boss has been less than impressed with the player’s performances.
The Gunners star has not featured in Roma’s last two matches and with only a few more games to go till the expiry of his loan term, it remains to be seen whether he will make any more appearances for Mourinho.
Dalot meanwhile looked to be flourishing under interim manager Ralf Rangnick since the turn of the new year, but has surprisingly been dropped in favour of Aaron Wan-Bissaka of late. Even under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Portugal international had to make do with being Wan-Bissaka’s understudy.
This led to the former Porto man leaving the club on loan last year to have a full season of first-team football with AC Milan, where the right-back impressed. Although he returned to Manchester the previous summer, he looks to be battling for more playing time this term as well.
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Mourinho’s interest in the 22-year-old is well-founded, given that it was the Roma manager that recruited him at United. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur head coach knows what the player has in his arsenal, and given his prior experience playing in Serie A, he could prove to be a good fit at the Stadio Olimpico.
However, Mourinho could face a battle to sign Dalot in the summer, with Fiorentina also thought to be interested in securing the defender’s services. The right-back clearly seems to be in demand in Italy at the end of the season, but so far, United have not shown any interest in selling their first-team star.