MANCHESTER UNITED could have signed Sergino Dest this summer only for a boardroom meltdown to sabotage the move, according to reports.
The 21-year-old USA full-back was released by Barcelona as they desperately tried to balance their finances.
United manager Erik ten Hag was interested in a reunion with Dest, who he managed at Ajax during the 2019-20 season.
But according to The Athletic, Red Devils director of football John Murtough wanted to stay with Aaron Wan-Bissaka – despite his awkward fit into the Ten Hag system.
Barca initially wanted around £17.5million for Dest but ended up sending him on loan to AC Milan with no obligation to buy.
The Serie A champions have the option to make the move permanent for £17.5m next summer.
Diogo Dalot has started all seven games under Ten Hag this term.
Wan-Bissaka, meanwhile, played just four minutes of action under the Dutchman – late in a 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Dest traveled with Barcelona on their summer tour of the United States but was left out of their first La Liga games.
After joining Milan, he made his Champions League debut this week, in his new side’s 1-1 draw at RB Salzburg.
AC Milan have beaten late interest from Villarreal and Borussia Dortmund to sign Dest.
They made the move for the 21-year-old after Alessandro Florenzi suffered a serious injury.
Barca have considered a swap deal with Dortmund for Thomas Meunier, although the talks haven’t progressed much.
They were also interested in using Dest to sign former Spurs ace Juan Foyth from Villarreal.
But a move alongside Unai Emery was seen as too ‘resigned’ for the American.