Manchester United are closing in on their fourth summer signing, according to The Sun who suggest Monaco’s Brazilian right-back, Fabinho, will make a move to the Old Trafford club. Fabinho was linked to United last summer with Louis van Gaal looking to sign a new right-back, opting for Torino’s Matteo Darmian instead. Darmian started the season well but lost form, confidence and the changing of his position from right-back to left-back would not have helped him. Darmian has been linked to both Napoli and Juventus this summer, with the former a more likely scenario as Juventus signed free agent Dani Alves, who left Barcelona this summer. It has been reported that Mourinho is not keen on Darmian, especially after his demise last season and Antonio Valencia used more towards the end of the season instead of him.
Jose Mourinho has previously worked with the 22-year-old Brazilian right-back, whilst he was on loan with Real Madrid, firstly with Casilla, then made his debut for the first at some point during the 2012/13 season. After a loan spell at Real Madrid, Fabinho was then loaned to Monaco for two seasons, with the principality side making the move permanent in May 2015. Reliable Brazilian daily globoesporte report that Mourinho and Fabinho could soon reunite at Old Trafford to help complete the Portuguese manager’s new squad at his new club. So far this summer, Mourinho has signed Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – not to mention a world record move for French midfielder Paul Pogba, whose move is due to be confirmed in the coming week. Adding Fabinho to those could represent a good summer for Manchester United.
Last season, Fabinho scored eight goals in 47 appearances for Monaco and threatened going forward from the right-back position, something United already do on the left with Luke Shaw, but could do with the balance to be able to start attacks from the back on the right-hand side. The Brazilian has been capped by his country four times, but with Dani Alves ahead of him, until he retired from international football, it is always going to be tough for him to break through. Many may not be convinced that Fabinho has what it takes to make it in the Premier League, but Mourinho seems to have done his homework on the player, who he managed himself, albeit for one match.
Over the past three years, having the correct balance in the side has been tough. It looked like that was sorted last summer, especially when Darmian starting playing really well, being compared to Gary Neville, but that bubble soon burst and he lost his place on the team, suffered a few injuries and lost his confidence, which may be something he can regain. The links to Napoli and Juventus may deem that a move back to his homeland may well be the case, which would be a shame, but at the end of the day, if it does not work and a new manager coming in wants to create his own team, there is nothing that can be done. Darmian seems to have a split audience of United supporters and being at the club for a year will mean it will not take years for the fan base to get over his departure if that is what is going to happen.