Matteo Darmian has made 40 appearances in a Manchester United shirt since signing for the Premier League side in the summer of 2016, and he may never reach a 41st, according to the Italian defender’s agent.
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Speaking to Radio CRC in Italy, Darmian’s agent, Fausto Pari, put all involved parties on high-alert when he revealed the 26-year-old won’t hesitate to return to Italy during the January transfer window, if he doesn’t receive regular playing time at Man United between now and then — translated quotes from ESPN UK:
“He’s playing little or nothing and it’s a shame because he’s an Italy international. If the situation doesn’t change by January, we’ll have to think of something. He risks also losing his place in the national team.”
He said Inter “were interested, and that also came out in the papers,” but played down talk he could join Napoli.
“We’re only at the start of October so there is still time and we will see how the situation evolves. Napoli have [Ivan] Strinic in that position, though. I don’t want to do [Napoli sporting director Cristiano] Giuntoli’s work for him, though, and it will be up to them to decide whether they want to make a move for Darmian.”
After making a bright start under then-manager Louis Van Gaal last fall, Darmian’s form fell off during the second half of the season, and the 26-times-capped Italian international has made just one appearance, in the Europa League, under new manager Jose Mourinho this season.
Darmian cost United around $15 million less than 18 months ago, and his stock should remain plenty high back in Italy, meaning they could realistically expect to recoup most, if not all, of their original outlay. If Antonio Valencia is indeed Mourinho’s preferred option at right back, that’s $15 million that could go toward addressing any of the other three problematic positions along the backline.