Done Deal: Manchester United agree deal with Barcelona target

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Manchester United's Ashley Young walk on to the pitch.

Diogo Dalot has committed his long-term future to Manchester United Reuters/Lee Smith.

Manchester United ended their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 win over Fulham over the weekend. The Red Devils still have to play one more game – a Manchester derby FA Cup final at Wembley – before the curtains are drawn on their season. But the hierarchy have already started taking steps towards shaping the squad for next season.

Diogo Dalot has signed a new contract with United until 30 June 2028, with an option for a further year. His previous deal was set to expire in 2024, raising fears over his long-term future at Old Trafford amid interest from Barcelona.

The La Liga outfit are looking for a new right-back and reportedly had Dalot on their short-list ahead of the summer transfer window. The announcement of the Portuguese talent’s contract extension will force Barca to look elsewhere to strengthen the right-back position for Xavi.

After struggling for regular minutes under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the former Porto full-back moved to Italy to join AC Milan on a season-long loan for the 2020-21 season.

The arrival of interim manager Ralf Rangnick following Solskjaer’s sacking didn’t have much impact on United’s results but helped Dalot make the right-back position at the club his own.

Erik ten Hag didn’t tinker with Rangnick’s decision and continued to play Dalot early in his tenure. The second half of the season has seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka get more minutes, but the Dutch coach still values the Portugal international’s ability to progress the ball from deep and was keen for Dalot to extend his stay. As per Fabrizio Romano, the United boss really wanted the versatile player to stay as part of his project.

After putting pen to paper on the new deal, Dalot said: “I can assure you that I will dedicate myself relentlessly to helping this group to achieve our aims and make the fans proud of this team. That drive continues this week with everyone intensely focused on preparations for the FA Cup final.”

Dalot started against Fulham. But his place in starting XI against Manchester City is far from guaranteed. With United expected to defend more than usual, Wan-Bissaka may get the nod to stop Jack Grealish from the get-go.