Man Utd signed Amad Diallo after ‘missing out’ on £45million target

Manchester United moved to sign youngster Amad Diallo after missing out on preferred target Moussa Diaby.

The Red Devils have snapped up Atalanta starlet Diallo with the winger set to complete his switch to Old Trafford in January.

But it appears the promising teenager was not United's first choice, according to a report by Sport Bild.

The German publication claims United were chasing Bayer Leverkusen star Diaby, 21, who they were willing to pay up to €50million (£45m) for.

Leverkusen soon put the brakes on any potential transfer though, blocking Diaby's departure after his agent had discussed a move with the club.

Already the Bundesliga outfit had lost star man Kai Havertz to Chelsea, as well as Kevin Volland to Monaco, and they were not prepared to sanction the sale of another of their prized assets.

Rudi Voller, Leverkusen's sporting director, admitted: "It was not only Havertz this summer. There were three, four other players targeted by European clubs. Moussa Diaby was among them."

That forced United to switch attentions to other targets, instead wrapping up a deal for bright prospect Diallo.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

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The Ivorian talent is still awaiting a work permit for his move from Italy but has already agreed personal terms, after the clubs settled on a fee of £19m up front with a further £18.5m potentially due in add-ons.

The 18-year-old – full name Amad Diallo Traore – has only made three senior appearances for Atalanta, but scored on his debut last season.

He is highly-regarded at the Serie A club too, with teammate Papu Gomez likening him to Lionel Messi.

"He’s a future star, trust me," Gomez said. "During our training sessions he plays like Messi! You can’t stop him, he’s unbelievable, our centre-backs have serious problems when he is on the pitch. He’s fantastic."

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It remains to be seen how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will integrate Diallo into his first-team set-up, with fellow new boy Facundo Pellistri yet to make an appearance for the club.

Discussing the Uruguayan, Solskjaer told United's official website : "He’s a young boy coming over and it’s all new for him.

“He’ll need a few games in the reserves, of course, to try to find his feet in a new country.

“It’s been very positive so far and he’s someone we’ll be patient with and we’ll give him time to settle in and get used to us.

"You’ll see him in the reserves, probably in the next game.”

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