Spanish giants Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a move for Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian in the January window. The Italian who was a regular under Loius Van Gaal has found it hard to break into the first team this season under Jose Mourinho.
Barcelona have identified the 26-year-old, along with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin, as options to reinforce their defence and could swoop for the Manchester United man come January.
Darmian was signed by Manchester United from Torino in the summer of 2015 for just £12.7m and was an integral part of Van Gaal’s plans last season. He made 39 appearances in his first season in England and also impressed in Italy’s campaign in EURO 2016 because of his ability to play on either flank.
However, Darmian finds himself down the pecking order under the Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho who prefers the pace of Antonio Valencia and Timothy Fosu-Mensah over him.
Vidal out, Darmian in?
The Italian has been strongly linked with Inter Milan but, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are keen on adding the 26-year-old to their roster in January to replace Aleix Vidal who is expected to leave next summer.
Vidal has reportedly been unhappy at the Catalan club after being ignored by Luis Enrique this season and not having appeared in any of their last six matches. Sergi Roberto has taken over the right back position after the departure of club legend Dani Alves to Juventus and the Blaugrana are on the look out for a new full-back after Vidal has fallen out of favour.
A switch to the La Liga would make sense for the Italian as he would get the chance to impress Luis Enrique into giving him game time. However, knowing Jose Mourinho’s talent to develop defenders, staying at Manchester United and waiting for a chance would not be a bad bet either.
Caesar Azpilicueta’s rise from being the second choice right back to beating Ashley Cole to the left back position says a lot about Mourinho’s knack of nurturing defenders. Darmian’s ability to play on both flanks will be an added bonus if one of the full backs is to get injured where he’ll have a chance to claim a starting spot.
Though he hasn’t been at his best because of niggling injuries and loss of form, at 26, Darmian still has a long way to go and it remains to be seen where his destination will be when the transfer window opens in January.
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