Manchester United shortlist Barcelona star among other players to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Man United add Jules Koundé to shortlist as potential Aaron Wan-Bissaka replacement

Manchester United have identified Jules Koundé as a possible replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, according to Italian football journalist Rudy Galetti.

The 24-year-old France international arrived at Barcelona only two seasons ago but could be up for grabs for the right price as the Catalan club continues to struggle with deep-rooted financial issues.

Alongside Koundé, Galetti has also mentioned Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong as potential Wan-Bissaka replacements.

United’s search for a long-term right-back replacement arrives on the back of Aaron Wan-Bissaka having consistently looked out of sorts under Erik ten Hag, leaving Diogo Dalot the only viable option on the right.

Things have been worse this season owing to United’s year-long injury woes, forcing both Dalot and Wan-Bissaka to play on the left at times, the latter in particular having found it hard to deal with.

The 26-year-old has made 182 appearances for Man United in his near five-year-long stay at Old Trafford. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
The 26-year-old has made 182 appearances for Man United in his near five-year-long stay at Old Trafford. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

United go into the weekend with the FA Cup semi-final on their mind as they prepare for player departures and arrivals in the summer.

An unhelpful scattergun shortlist

Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs to be moved on, plain at simple. In five years at Old Trafford he has demonstrated that, while he is indisputably one of the best one-on-one tacklers in world football, all the other aspects of his game leave a lot to be desired.

Moreover, he has found it hard to adjust to any role Erik ten Hag has asked him to perform, something that became very evident in the 2022 pre-season itself.

Wan-Bissaka has made only 56 appearances thus far under Ten Hag. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

After Diogo Dalot, it is Victor Lindelöf in fact who is able to carry out right-back duties to his manager’s liking better than Wan-Bissaka, further making a case for why United need to get a right-back in the summer.

That said, the names they are being linked with don’t inspire confidence immediately. Koundé, Frimpong, and Dumfries are stylistically as different from each other as right-backs can be, further prompting questions about United’s recruitment policy.

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Still, it’s early days and all we have right now are reports. Koundé, on paper, will be the best fit for the kind of fullback roles we have seen Ten Hag ask his players to perform. That he can play centre-back as well further strengthens his case.