Manchester United could make a move for Barcelona defender Emerson, who is currently plying his trade at Real Betis, as the Red Devils eye a new right-back.

According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Premier League heavyweights Manchester United could consider the possibility of raiding Barcelona for the services of Brazilian defender Emerson Royal.

21-year-old Emerson came through the youth ranks at Sao Paulo in Brazil and had stints at Ponte Preta and Atletico Mineiro before he moved to Europe in January 2019. The right-back was signed by Barcelona in a complex deal that saw Real Betis pay half of his €12 million transfer fee.

Co-owned by both clubs, Emerson has exclusively played for Real Betis since landing in Europe and will only be able to move to Barcelona in the next summer. During his time at Estadio Benito Villamarin, the Brazilian has made 48 appearances so far for them, scoring three goals and setting up six more.

Emerson has started seven of Real Betis’ ten La Liga matches this season but hasn’t been able to contribute directly towards a goal. Nevertheless, the full-back impressed heavily with his all-round capabilities last season and has already attracted interest from the likes of AC Milan.

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And, as per the aforementioned report, Manchester United could consider a swoop for the eight-time capped Brazil U-23 international. An alternate report from ESPN claimed last week that the 20-time English champions were looking to sign a new right-back in order to provide more competition to incumbent Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Since arriving at the club, the Englishman has established himself as the undisputed first-choice at right-back. This resulted in Manchester United loaning out Diogo Dalot to AC Milan in the summer, where he has done fairly well so far. But with United already scouring the market for a new right-back, it could hint at a potential permanent transfer to Italy for the former FC Porto starlet.

And with Timothy Fosu-Mensah having had quite a few injury issues in the recent past, the Red Devils could be in need of a new right-sided defender come summer to compete with Wan-Bissaka, making Emerson a viable target.

Apart from the Brazilian, the report also mentions Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira as well as Max Aarons of Norwich City as other potential options that Manchester United could look at.

Wan-Bissaka, while impressing heavily with his defensive nous and tackling abilities, doesn’t quite provide the attacking impetus that is needed of a modern-day full-back. So, bringing in someone like Emerson could address that issue for Manchester United, while also coaxing serious improvement out of their current first-choice.

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