Everton could potentially save themselves around £13m in the summer transfer market by targeting Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot over Norwich City’s Max Aarons or Tariq Lamptey of Brighton & Hove Albion.
According to Nicolo Shira, AC Milan are opposed to the permanent transfer of Dalot after Manchester United slapped a €20m (£17m) price tag onto the on-loan defender.
The 22-year-old moved to the San Siro in October after sealing a late season-long switch to the Serie A giants, but has struggled to establish himself under Stefano Pioli.
Dalot has opened just 18 of his 24 appearances across all competitions and has been fielded in less than half of the Rossoneri’s league games to date.
AC Milan are now expected to focus on alternative targets and Dalot will return to Old Trafford at the end of the season, in a potential boost for Everton.
The Toffees were linked with a potential move for Dalot last week, with Carlo Ancelotti said to view the Portuguese defender as an alternative to Aarons and Lamptey in his search for Seamus Coleman’s successor.
Ancelotti is eager to find a right-back capable of offering an aerial presence at both ends of the field, and had sought a deal for Dalot last year only for Manchester United to pull the plug in fear of strengthening a rival.
Director of Football Marcel Brands was in agreement with Ancelotti over a move for Dalot, whom the Italian likes for his versatility, and had made efforts to land his signature in 2019 during Marco Silva’s tenure at Goodison Park.
Everton making moves to sign Dalot for a third successive summer has the potential to see the Merseyside outfit acquire Ancelotti’s long-term heir to Coleman, and at a bargain fee compared to deals for Aarons or Lamptey.
Aarons is the only one of the trio who has been given consistent minutes at right-back this season, with Daniel Farke awarding the 21-year-old all 38 of his Championship outings in his natural position.
Dalot, who Jose Mourinho claimed was “fantastic” and could be Manchester United’s full-back for the next ten years back in 2018, has only made four of his 12 Serie A outings for AC Milan at right-back this term.
Over their performances when played at right-back this season, Aarons has registered the highest average WhoScored match rating at 6.9 out of 10, while Lamptey ranks second at 6.87 and Dalot is third with a 6.71.
But Dalot has provided the highest number of successful tackles per game with 3.8 from six attempts, to Lamptey (1.8/2.3) and Aarons (0.7/1). He also ranks first for interceptions with two ahead of the Seagulls star (1.6) and Canaries ace (0.9) and aerial duels won with 1.3 from 2.3 to 0.4 from 1.7 and 0.9 from 2.3 respectively.
Aarons also provides the least accurate crosses with 0.8 from 3.1 deliveries per game to Dalot (0.5/3) and Lamptey (0.9/3.1), yet tops the charts for key passes with 1.3 to the Portuguese’s 0.5 and the Englishman’s 0.9.
Obviously, Dalot’s sample size is smaller than Lamptey’s and especially Aarons’, but he has the potential to prove a bargain by saving Everton £13m in the transfer market if he emerges as Ancelotti and Brands’ priority target this summer.