Ten Hag’s Move For Milan Defender Was Rejected By Murtough This Summer

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and director of football John Murtough in the stands.

Reuters/John Sibley

Sergino Dest landed at AC Milan on deadline day after falling out of favour under Xavi at Barcelona.

Barcelona signed the USMNT star from Ajax in a deal reported to be worth €21m in the summer of 2020. At the time, Dest was one of the most sought after full-backs in Europe following his encouraging stint under the then Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.

At Camp Nou he was an important player under Ronald Koeman. But things took a drastic change this summer, as Xavi decided to push the 21-year-old out of the Barca starting lineup and chase Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta.

Barcelona failed to sign the Chelsea captain, but Xavi’s stance on Dest remained unchanged, and the youngster had to wait until the final day of the window to resolve his future.

Alessandro Florenzi’s injury forced Milan to make a move for Dest, who agreed to move to Italy on a season-long loan.

Before Milan signed Dest, there was a possibility of a reunion with Ten Hag. The Dutch coach was open to the idea as the right-back was a much better fit for his preferred style and would have sanctioned Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s exit.

But as per The Athletic, Manchester United’s football director John Murtough backed the Englishman. Murtough’s decision to stick with Wan-Bissaka hasn’t worked out yet.

Ten Hag has started Diogo Dalot in all of United’s first seven matches. Against Real Sociedad, he replaced the Portuguese with Lisandro Martinez instead of bringing the former Crystal Palace man off the bench.