Interest in Kieran Trippier highlights Manchester United's mentality change
Man United have four full-backs who have received international recognition but the interest in Kieran Trippier marks a change in mindset.
As soon as Jose Mourinho outlined Roma's need for a new left-back last week, those of us who cover Manchester United half-joked Alex Telles was a suitable option. Less than a week later, the Italian media linked Telles with Roma.
It is a feasible transfer tale. Telles is 28, a Portuguese-speaker, Mourinho has a predilection for Brazilian players and Telles is playing second fiddle to the best left-back around. Only Mourinho has not been consulted on Telles by anyone at Roma, if the interest is indeed concrete.
Telles does not have a long shelf life at United, a club he arrived at as a Brazil squad member, that status since revoked. His absence from the Copa America party is cause for Telles to re-evaluate his position with the World Cup only 16 months away and if there is no movement in the next seven weeks then there may be next year.
Brazilian football can be unforgiving when it comes to the national side. Rafael da Silva never played for Brazil again after a mistake in the Olympics final defeat to Mexico in 2012 and the left-back Renan Lodi was at fault for Angel di Maria's Copa America final winner.
United have four full-backs who have received international recognition and the left-back Brandon Williams will be allowed to head out on loan. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw is an enviable pair of full-backs but Kieran Trippier is eager to provide an upgrade on the right.
Trippier's family are optimistic the Bury-born full-back will permanently relocate to Manchester and his wife has pallied up with Anouska Santos and Fern Hawkins, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire's partners. Trippier's United-supporting father was coy on the record with the Manchester Evening News but the family have been privately suggesting that a move to United is likely.
Trippier has no intention of just providing back-up for Wan-Bissaka and why should he? Trippier has been drilled by Diego Simeone at the Spanish champions and he has the distinction of claiming a goal and an assist in a semi-final and final for England.
Trippier played at left-back and right wing-back against World Cup finalists, the 2014 World Cup winners and the European champions. is more tactically flexible than the limited Wan-Bissaka who, if United were to switch to a back three, would be more useful as one of the three.
That United have backed Solskjaer's pursuit of a right-back who turns 31 in September two years after investing £50million in one - having cast the net so wide it gathered 804 right-backs - undermines the cultural reset spiel. It also highlights United's commitment to improvement.
Mourinho is believed to be amused United are financing marquee moves for a centre-back and a right winger in the same summer three years after they refused to sign a centre-back and a right winger. United had finished second in the Premier League then, too, with a greater points haul and were FA Cup runners-up. The hierarchy's unambitious mindset has changed, doubtless enforced by the peer pressure from the Super League fallout.
It seems extreme of United to even entertain the prospect of jettisoning Telles and Diogo Dalot, fresh from driving his valuation up at the European Championship. Dalot is due to return to United later this month and still enjoys a positive rapport with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, only every major decision the United manager has taken with Dalot has been to marginalise him.
Dalot's representatives are prepared for possible movement in August and United are keeping their options open. Dalot and Trippier are two full-backs whose stocks have risen over the last month and settling on a fee for either is time-consuming enough for pub talk.
The prospect of United settling with three full-backs in a season with the return of FA Cup replays and two-legged League Cup semi-finals seems as fanciful as them signing one and selling two in the same summer. Although Dalot was in Rome last week.