Report: Matteo Darmian Set to Leave Manchester United in January

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2018

Manchester United's Italian defender Matteo Darmian arrives for a training session at the Carrington Training complex in Manchester, north west England on October 22, 2018, ahead of their UEFA Champions League group H football match against Juventus on October 23. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly held discussions with Inter Milan and Roma over the future of Matteo Darmian, with the Italy international set to return to Serie A.

Mike McGrath of The Sun (h/t MailOnline's Danny Gallagher) reported the defender is set to depart Old Trafford if the Red Devils can negotiate a suitable price. United have an optional one-year extension to trigger in the player's current deal but will consider offers for his services in January.

The 28-year-old made a promising start to life at the Theatre of Dreams three years ago, but he's failed to hold down a starting role since a £12.9 million switch from Torino.

Former coach Louis van Gaal appeared to have faith in the Italian, but current manager Jose Mourinho has used the player sparingly.

Antonio Valencia has remained United's primary right-back in recent years, but Diogo Dalot is expected to be given the role after he fully acclimatises to life at Carrington. The teenager was signed from Porto last summer but is yet to make a consistent breakthrough.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (R) and Manchester United's Italian defender Matteo Darmian (L) applaud supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Darmian recently admitted he wants regular football and is ready to return to his homeland if he gets the opportunity.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Libero (h/t Calciomercato), Darmian said:

"United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, anyone must deserve the place and I work in light of this.
 
"But of course I'd rather play more, even if it means leaving Manchester; where I dream of going back to is Italy, in Serie A, where I got a lot of satisfaction."

The player has started just one game in the Premier League this season and was found wanting in the match at home to Leicester City.

Football writer Liam Canning was far from impressed by Darmian's display:

Darmian's lack of quality in advanced positions has seen him become a limited asset for Mourinho.

The defender doesn't have the ability to pass his opposing defender, and he prefers to play a more static game in the back four.

Dalot's arrival was the true ending of Darmian's long-term chances at United, and Serie A is an appropriate destination for the right-back.

The player has the experience to feature for big teams such as Inter or Roma, and he would fit perfectly in either squad once the winter transfer window opens for business.

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