Manchester United open to selling Matteo Darmian this month – reports

Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian could leave the Old Trafford club this month according to reports by the Independent. It has been claimed by Miguel Delaney that both AC Milan and Valencia are interested in signing the Italian fullback and the hierarchy at United are open to selling him. This seemingly goes against what manager Jose Mourinho has stated recently about his squad size, indicating that only Axel Tuanzebe could leave the club this month.

Darmian sealed a switch to the Old Trafford club in the summer of 2015 when Louis van Gaal was the manager of the club. Despite the initial few matches where the Italian was compared to Class of 92 graduate Gary Neville, Darmian has seemed out-of-place in a number of positions at the club. The report states that Mourinho wants to trim his squad down to a core of 22 players, which probably would not include the players who are deemed ready for the first team from the Academy.

Darmian was brought to the club to be the long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia at right-back, but the Ecuadorian has replicated the form of some of his best seasons at the Old Trafford club, scoring three goals already this season, all of them spectacular. Personally, I see Timothy Fosu-Mensah as the long-term solution for the right-back role, a position the player has played whilst on loan with Crystal Palace and was recently named as the Man of the Match on a few occasions.

Both Milan and Valencia need to recruit a player in the position Darmian plays in and a move to either club could see him return to the form first shown when he arrived at the Theatre of Dreams, which would be good for Italy after failing to reach the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer. Delaney also suggests that Darmian could be used as a makeweight with Juventus, a club credited with an interest in the player as recently as the summer with United being linked to Alex Sandro.

United were reportedly in Sandro late last year as it looked like Mourinho needed a left-back to strengthen the left side of the squad. Since then though, Luke Shaw has put in some consistent performances, which is starting to look like the player has overcome that double leg fracture and a number of other injuries in the last few seasons. With United, seemingly, no longer needing a first-choice left-back, a move to Juventus may just be a straightforward sale. if the Serie A giants are still interested in the player, of course.

This season, Darmian has made eight competitive starts for United, coming off the bench a further three times. The player has been involved in the Carabao Cup from the start more times than in any other competition this season, which shows he is now being used as a fringe player in the team. Darmian has assisted one goal in the Carabao Cup, failing to offer what was needed in a number of other matches. United supporters have complained a number of times that Darmian was not good enough for the team, and based on that if he was sold he would probably not be missed.

Whether a move is sanctioned this month remains to be seen but I don’t for one minute think Mourinho will allow Darmian to leave the club. His options at right-back are few and far between right now. Saying that, Victor Lindelof has been used in the position a few times as a stand-in for Valencia and Axel Tuanzebe has played in that position too, but he could be heading out on loan later in the month. Valencia will need to be rested from time to time, so it is important Mourinho has an option, whether it be Lindelof or Darmian himself. The summer would seem more likely for any deal.

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