How Manchester United squad could look if Jose Mourinho lands his transfer targets this summer
The Red Devils are working on a number of deals as they look to take on Manchester City next season
Porto starlet Diego Dalot, with just eight senior appearances to his name, is one of the names in the frame as the United boss moves for new fullbacks, reports the Manchester Evening News.
And while United supporters may be underwhelmed by a move for a player few outside his homeland have heard of, it must be remembered how United have previously used youngsters to supplant seasoned full-backs before - with Rafael da Silva ousting Gary Neville, and Neville himself previously usurping Paul Parker.
United fans' sticking point is Jose Mourinho is prepared to entrust a youngster to succeed Antonio Valencia who is not Timothy Fosu-Mensah, restricted to four starts in four different competitions in 2016-17.
Fosu-Mensah enjoyed a nine-month loan at Crystal Palace, where he made a creditable 24 appearances (19 as a starter) and attained his maiden Netherlands cap in France back in August. He flourished on a testing debut against Arsenal, started at Tottenham and figured in two Manchester derbies.
Mourinho is planning more strengthening (Image: X01095)
What next for Fosu-Mensah? (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Matteo Darmian's expected departure for Juventus is of little consolation for Fosu-Mensah, whose versatility is rendered moot by United's other priority targets.
The Dutchman's first start was at centre half, where quantity reigns over quality and United are in talks with Tottenham over Toby Alderweireld. In midfield, where Fosu-Mensah is at his optimum, Fred is due to occupy the Michael Carrick role and there could be another addition in that area should Marouane Fellaini leave the dotted line on his contract blank.
United are closing on Fred (Image: Getty Images Europe)
Darmian and fellow Louis van Gaal buy Daley Blind had no incentive to leave in January despite spending many matchdays away from a stadium, since Italy and the Netherlands faltered at the qualifying stage for the World Cup.
Darmian might have since served notice to his Cheshire landlord already and if Blind is not renting in the city centre his apartment may as well be up for sale.
Mourinho will not risk playing those who are preparing for transfers and should Darmian and Blind somehow still be attached to United when they fly to LAX on July 15 then Carrington rather than California beckons for them.
The full-back situation has become more intriguing with United likelier to strengthen the right before the left. There is no indication United have held advanced discussions with Alex Sandro's representatives at the time of writing and it is an area where they are again well stocked.
Daley Blind is set to depart (Image: Getty Images Europe)
United remain keen on Alex Sandro (Image: Getty)
United have considered reinforcing at left-back for upwards of 18 months and it would be peculiar if that area remains untouched come the transfer window's closure on August 9. Darmian and Blind's exits could be offset by Marcos Rojo permanently relocating to the flank in his squad player status.
Joel Pereira's agent visited Carrington this month to discuss the Portuguese's future and a loan is inevitable. Kieran O'Hara could receive the number three role, with Dean Henderson out of contract in June and the 25-year-old Sam Johnstone intent on leaving permanently.
Should Alderweireld arrive, United's defensive department would be bloated.
The Belgian looks set to leave Spurs (Image: Getty)
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are out of contract in 2019 (United have the option of an additional year on both deals) and Eric Bailly was ignored towards the end of last term, while Lindelof and Rojo have unconvinced. Axel Tuanzebe has returned from an injury-plagued loan at Aston Villa.
Fred could be supplemented by a box-to-box midfielder, with Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini both on United's radar. Milinkovic-Savic was deemed too expensive but there is active interest in Italy international Pellegrini, 23.
Pellegrini has emerged on United's radar (Image: AFP)
United have held informal talks with Willian, who has burned bridges with Antonio Conte but not Chelsea, and surreptitiously enquired about battering ram strikers to support Romelu Lukaku.
Names that won't set the pulses racing.
Potential United squad
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Kieran O'Hara
Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Toby Alderweireld, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Alex Sandro
Midfielders: Fred, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Lorenzo Pellegrini
Forwards: Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku