Farhad Moshiri should block any efforts by Carlo Ancelotti and Marcel Brands to revive their interest in Everton signing Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Toffees are expected to revive their interest in the 22-year-old for a third consecutive summer after two failed bids.
Blues manager Ancelotti is on the hunt for his long-term heir to Seamus Coleman, and has Dalot, Norwich City’s Max Aarons and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey on his shortlist.
Ancelotti is thought to be prioritising a full-back who can offer an aerial presence at both ends of the pitch, a box which the 6ft Portuguese defender would be expected to tick but 5 ft 4 Lamptey would not.
Everton have targeted Dalot in each of the previous two summer markets and felt they had struck an agreement to sign the 22-year-old on loan last year, only for Manchester United to pull out to avoid strengthening a rival.
He instead joined AC Milan for the season and is happy in Italy, but has had limited game-time under Stefano Pioli. The former Portugal under-21 international has only started eight of his 12 Serie A appearances to date.
His most consistent run in the Milan side has come in the Europa League with eight starts from 10, having featured evenly on either side of Pioli’s defence en route to elimination in the round of 16 at the hands of his parent club.
Dalot’s versatility is said to stand out to Ancelotti, while director of football Brands was in agreement with the Italian and his predecessor Marco Silva over a move for the FC Porto product in 2020 and 2019.
Manchester United’s position on the future of Dalot remains to be seen, as the Old Trafford natives may once again fear strengthening Everton after seeing the Blues provide a threat to the Premier League’s top four places this term.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also revealed earlier this month that he is “looking forward” to working with Dalot in the 2021/22 campaign, having proven his fitness during what the Red Devils boss has described as a “good year” at the San Siro.
Jose Mourinho was at the helm at the time of Dalot’s arrival and lauded the then-19-year-old as the “best young full-back in Europe,” but he has not kicked on to become an established first team player at either Manchester United or AC Milan since.
Rossoneri boss Pioli publicly rates the Portuguese right-back highly, noting recently: “He will become a complete player.” However, that backing has not been replicated on the pitch, where his performances have barely bettered the efforts of Mason Holgate.
Ancelotti has called on Holgate to play more Premier League games (12) at right-back than any other Everton player this season, and seen the natural centre-half win 1.6 of 2.4 aerial duels while delivering 0.3 accurate crosses from 1.6 deliveries per game from the role, per WhoScored.
Dalot has made just four of his 12 Serie A appearances for the season from right-back, where he has won on average 1.3 of 2.3 aerial duels and provided 0.5 accurate crosses from three deliveries per game.
Given that the 22-year-old is a natural right-back while Holgate is a centre-half, the £34,000-per-week defender would be expected to outperform the Everton man in the role to a much higher standard. Instead, he rarely features in his favoured position and may even struggle to oust the Englishman at Goodison Park.
With Dalot under contract at Old Trafford for a further two years, Manchester United may strive to recoup as much of the £19m paid to Porto, making it a no-brainer for Moshiri to block Ancelotti and Brands from reviving their efforts to take him to Everton.
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