Manchester United confirm they have agreed a £19m deal with FC Porto for Diogo Dalot. The highly-rated defender has signed a five-year contract at Old Trafford with an option to extend for another year. Dalot will be a long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia whose contract has 12 months to run.
The 19-year-old only rose from the youth ranks to the Porto first-team in early 2018, making just eight appearances in all competitions, but he’s been tipped for a bright future. United manager Jose Mourinho has been full of praise for the defender and believes he will “become a great player” for the Red Devils.
“Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club,” he said. “He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality. In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe and we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”
Valencia is United’s first-choice at right-back, making 39 appearances in all competitions last season, but he’s in the eve of his career in Manchester. The Ecuadorian international turns 33 in August and has spent nine years at Old Trafford since his move from Wigan Athletic.
He’s made a total of 330 appearances for United and may be required to groom Dalot to be his eventual replacement. The Portuguese u21 international will surely be given time to develop by instead playing in the League Cup and FA Cup, while making substitute appearances in the Premier League until Mourinho feels he’s ready for more competitive football.
Stats from Transfermarkt.