Manchester United are still in the hunt for Lyon right-back Malo Gusto, despite the player reaching an “agreement” with Chelsea, according to reports.
Gusto looks set to make the first transfer of his career in 2023, probably to the Premier League. He has become a target for Chelsea, who want to find competition and cover for Reece James at right-back.
Reports on Monday revealed Chelsea have submitted their first offer to Lyon for Gusto.
Since then, more details have emerged. According to RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins, Chelsea have offered Gusto a “long-term contract” that would last longer than five years.
In turn, the Frenchman has reached an “agreement” on personal terms with Graham Potter’s side.
However, Man Utd could yet cause the transfer to collapse. Hawkins has added that the Red Devils are interfering with the move, since they are also interested in Gusto.
According to the reporter, Man Utd have “asked the player not to rush” in committing to Chelsea. If he waits, perhaps he could receive an offer from Erik ten Hag’s team too.
At right-back, Man Utd already have Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The former is only under contract until 2024, though, so they need to work to tie down his long-term future.
As for the latter, Wan-Bissaka has recently earned more confidence from Ten Hag. With that in mind, a January departure seems to have been ruled out, yet his long-term prospects with the club are still up for question. He too could become a free agent next summer.
Therefore, Man Utd need to consider the future of the right-hand side of the defence. At the age of 19, Gusto could become someone for them to put their faith in.
Lyon have been trying to keep hold of him this month, but his contract is due to expire in 2024 as well. The Ligue 1 side might have to consider substantial offers from clubs like Chelsea and Man Utd.
Chelsea move for Malo Gusto sparks Man Utd reaction
The Blues have made the first move and might have the advantage at present. However, Man Utd will be drawing up their own plans.
They will have to act fast – perhaps quicker than they planned – if they are to overtake Chelsea in the race for Gusto’s signature, though.
Under Todd Boehly’s ownership, it’s fair to say Chelsea have been proactive in the transfer market. They have been stockpiling talented players for the present and future.
Gusto could be the next player they spend substantially on, unless Man Utd can hijack the deal. But both suitors will be wary of getting involved in a bidding war, as that would not be ideal.
Gusto has made 54 appearances for Lyon, including 15 this season. He has outlined his potential so far, but neither Man Utd nor Chelsea will want to pay more for him than he is realistically worth.
READ MORE: Five transfers Manchester United need to make to become Premier League title challengers
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