Barely 12 months after his Old Trafford arrival, Italy right-back Matteo Darmian could be heading back to his home country and not many eyelids will bat among Manchester United fans if he does.
On the eve of Euro 2016, reports emanating from his native shores suggest Juventus are willing to alleviate United of Darmian’s services, who is allegedly unfancied by new manager Jose Mourinho.
Having started his Red Devils career in the solid style expected of an Italian defender, Darmian’s early promising displays soon began tailing off as niggling injuries also thwarted the Torino import from gaining momentum.
Darmian’s reputed attacking threat never seemed to materialise either as over his 24 Premier League appearances in 2015/16 he netted one goal and failed to provide a single assist, falling short of 0.5 key passes per match also.
Louis van Gaal also asked his summer signing to fill in at left-back on several occasions, which is perhaps the only genuine reason Darmian should gain credit for his debut season’s work.
Nevertheless, the long-awaited recovery of first-choice left-back Luke Shaw will coincide with the start of the new season and Mourinho’s first signing, Eric Bailly, is also a very capable right-back as well as centre-half.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Uruguayan Guillermo Varela, farmed out last season after failing to settle, also seized his chances to shine when making 11 appearances.
Then there are the exciting academy products Mourinho is blessed to have at his disposal thanks to their first-team exposure under Van Gaal.
Teenage talents Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Timothy Fosu-Mensah both acquitted themselves particularly well when bestowed opportunities to impress under the Iron Tulip’s watch in 2015/16.
Besides this, Mourinho may well be arriving at Old Trafford with another specialist right-back in mind with as much, if not more experience than the 26-year-old.
It will be interesting to see how Darmian fares for the Azzurri at the European Championships and whether this stiffens United’s resolve one way or another.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.