Tariq Lamptey’s Man Utd admission gives them edge over Arsenal in transfer pursuit

Tariq Lamptey has a soft spot for Manchester United which could convince him to snub Arsenal in favour of a move to Old Trafford.

The Brighton defender, 21, is at the centre of a transfer tussle between the two English giants, both of whom are targeting a new option at right-back.

Lamptey burst onto the scene as one of the Premier League ‘s hottest prospects after joining the Seagulls from Chelsea in January 2020.

A a recurring hamstring injury initially sustained in December that year hampered his progress, but he returned to fitness this season to remind suitors of his quality.

United are among those monitoring the situation closely and interim manager Ralf Rangnick views the Englishman as an upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot, his existing options on the right of defence.

Brighton starlet Tariq Lamptey has earned the admiration of the Premier League elite
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That is according to the Daily Mail , which claims the Red Devils are drawn to Lamptey’s ability to play in a back four or as a wing-back.

Rangnick’s favoured 4-2-2-2 formation places heavy emphasis on the full-backs to provide width and attacking threat as well as solidity at the back.

To that end, neither £50million man Wan-Bissaka, 24, nor 22-year-old Dalot have convinced the German they are capable of meeting his demands.

Lamptey, meanwhile, has seen his minutes managed by Brighton boss Graham Potter but he has helped his side achieve the joint-fifth-best defensive record in the league.

The England Under-21 international has made a total of 13 appearances this season, eight of which have been starts, and contributed one assist.

Arsenal and United will be watching Lamptey’s progress on the south coast closely, and the latter may have the edge in the transfer race as he previously admitted to supporting Sir Alex Ferguson’s side as a child.

“When I was growing up they were winning everything,” he told The Athletic in September 2020. “I have the mentality where I hate to lose at anything, and United always had that under Sir Alex Ferguson. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to them.”

England youth international Tariq Lamptey previously admitted he has a soft spot for Manchester United
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Getty Images)

Lamptey’s future is sure to be the subject of much attention as the January transfer window unfolds, but Brighton are in a strong position having extended his contract to 2025 in January last year.

The Seagulls will demand up to £40million for his services whereas United are believed to value him at £30million.

In November, England manager Gareth Southgate claimed Lamptey was among those “pushing” the established right-backs in his squad, such as Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker.

Southgate said: “Tino Livramento has had a great start to the season, along with Tariq Lamptey and we have just seen Matty Cash go to Poland, but we have a lot of good right-backs in the squad and others pushing them.”

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