Manchester United Defender Set for Return to Homeland as Mourinho’s Eyes Move for Highly-Rated Winger?

Afternoon Bulletin

Matteo Darmian set to quit United for Italian giants?

Manchester United could be set to part ways with out-of-favour defender Matteo Darmian as Italian giants, Juventus, are set to make a move for the full-back, according to Goal.com. The 28-year-old has fallen out of favour under manager Jose Mourinho and despite being able to play on either flank at the back, is considered to be some way behind the likes of Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw in the pecking order. After completing his £13 million move from Torino back in 2015, Darmian made an impressive start to life at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal but has since seen his playing time reduced significantly as his form has dropped considerably. Having made just four Premier League appearances so far this season, the Italian international could be set for a move away from United with Juventus seeing the full-back as the ideal replacement for ageing defender Stephen Lichtsteiner. Whilst a player of Darmian’s quality is undoubtedly an asset for Mourinho to have as a back-up, it is unlikely that the Italian would be content with playing a bit-part role yet again, next season. So, a move away from Old Trafford may be in the best interest of all parties involved. In the past, Mourinho has publicly spoken of his willingness to allow unhappy or unsettled player to leave the club for the right price and it seems as though Darmian may be able to make the return back to his homeland at the end of the current campaign.

United target Bailey speaks out on future

One man who United are reportedly extremely keen on bringing to Old Trafford is Bayer Leverkusen hotshot Leon Bailey. The 20-year-old attacking player has caught the eye in the Bundesliga this season, finding the back of the net on nine occasions, attracting interest from a number of potential suitors. Besides United, domestic rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are also believed to be keeping an eye on the attacker’s progress, which could force the Reds to act quickly should the youngster become available. However, Bailey has insisted that he is in no rush to leave Leverkusen and that he views the German outfit as the perfect environment for him to continue his development and hone his skills before making the move to a more illustrious side.

“Leverkusen is perfect for me,” the winger is quoted as saying by Bild. “I want to develop and then I can take the next step. When I move to a big club, the people there will want to know me. I want to make a name for myself at the highest level.”

Having completed the sensational signing of winger Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal back in January, Mourinho has spoken of his delight with the attacking players at his disposal and that he has no intention of adding players capable of playing in similar positions in the foreseeable future. However, should a talented player such as Bailey make United aware of his interest in joining them, Mourinho may reconsider his stance or risk losing the 20-year-old to a domestic rival.

About the Author

Alex DeMarco
23-year-old University student from Malta, currently studying Communications and starting out in the world of football journalism. Lifelong Manchester United fan with a passion for all things football.