One of the players that has seen less minutes for Manchester United this season has been Matteo Darmian. The Italy international has struggled to play regularly during the current term. And in fact, he has been linked with a return to Italy ever since the 2018-19 campaign started. Now, those rumours could become reality during the final days of the January transfer window.
According to several reports, Serie A leaders Juventus are pondering whether to make an offer for Darmian. The former Torino star, who has been at Old Trafford since 2015, has said repeatedly that he wants to return to Italy. Juventus want to make that wish come true, since they’re planning to submit a €4M offer for a season-long deal. And since Darmian’s contract expires at the end of June, Juventus would have the chance of sign him on a permanent basis afterwards. As a free agent, though, so they wouldn’t have to pay a fee to sign him. Reaching an agreement on personal terms would be enough to complete the switch for good.
This could also create changes at Juventus since it would mean the end of Leonardo Spinazzola’s tenure at The Old Lady. The former Atalanta star would leave the Serie A side and would move to Bologna on loan until the end of the current term. But let’s get back to Darmian. Despite his quality, the Italian never received much of a chance to make an impact with The Red Devils.
Why leaving seems to be the best alternative for Darmian
The Italian has only played in six matches during the 2018-19 season. He had somewhat of a role under Jose Mourinho, but he has disappeared from the starting XI since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian spoke about Darmian just once, when he said the Italian “could provide cover at centre-back” due to the injuries of Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo, and the suspension of Eric Bailly. That has never been the case, though. Darmian can effectively play on both flanks as a full-back, but he’s not a centre-back. He doesn’t have the size, the strength or the positional skills to operate on a central role.
Maybe United had a great player on their hands, and simply wasted him away. But right now, it seems the best scenario for both parties is to see Darmian leave the club. With Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young ahead of him on the pecking order, his chances of playing are slim to none. And it would be better if he goes somewhere else, while United recovers a small fraction of the amount they paid for him a few years ago.