Matteo Darmian: 'I Really Do Miss Serie A and Italy' Amid Exit Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05:  Matteo Darmian of Manchester United and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on December 5, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian has spoken of how much he misses his native Italy amid rumours linking him with a departure from the club.

According to Tony Mogan of the Evening Standard, the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, Roma and Napoli are all thought to be interested in him.

He'd seemingly be receptive to joining any of them, as he told Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Mogan): "I must say, I really do miss Serie A and Italy now. I know that I am at one of the best clubs in the world and I am proud to be at Manchester United, but I do miss Italy. I love my country."

Darmian made just his third appearance of the campaign on Wednesday when he played in United's 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

The Italian has also played in the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on November 24, but he was not even in the squad for the Red Devils' 2-2 draw with Southampton in between.

BBC Sport's Simon Stone added some insight into his struggles for game time at Old Trafford:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

Darmian not started successive Premier League games (in same season) since April 2017.#MUNARS

Despite his rustiness, The Times' Paul Hirst and football writer Jordan Clarke praised his performance:

Paul Hirst @hirstclass

@jonpinder84 He did actually. Fair play to him

Jordan Clarke @FourFourJordan

Fairly decent performance but that result isn’t good enough with the situation we’re in. Darmian and Bailly both very good and Rojo also great until his brain-fart. Forgive De Gea for his mistake for the two saves following it.

However, in United's 4-1 win over Fulham on Saturday, Darmian was nowhere to be seen again as manager Jose Mourinho left him out of the squad entirely.

United still have five more matches in December, so he may well feature again once or twice before the January transfer window opens.

Regular game time with the Red Devils would likely make him more inclined to want to stay, but even if he does play again during the festive period, it would take a significant turnaround for him to become anything more than a squad player at Old Trafford.

A return to Italy would allow the 29-year-old to reignite his flagging career before age begins to take its toll, so a January exit would seem the best move for him.