Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has today heaped praise on Serie A giants Juventus, amid mounting speculation that he could be set for a move to Turin at the end of the season.
Out of favour
Versatile Italian full-back Darmian arrived at Old Trafford from Torino in 2015, impressing during his early months with the club on his way to racking up a respectable 24 Premier League starts over the course of his debut campaign in England.
However, he fell out of favour last season under Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese tactician opting for the likes of Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind over the 36-time capped Azzurri international.
As a result, Darmian was heavily linked with a departure from Manchester last summer, with a rake of Serie A sides having reportedly expressed an interest in bringing him back to Italy.
In the end, somewhat surprisingly, Jose Mourinho was the one who blocked a transfer for his 28-year-old stopper, though, with the former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss viewing Darmian as an important member of his squad, despite his lack of game-time.
However, with Darmian having managed just 5 appearances in the English top-flight so far this season (2 starts), reports began to intensify late last year that he would push for a January exit from Old Trafford, with all of Juventus, Napoli and Roma having been touted as potential destinations for the AC Milan youth product.
‘Not for sale’
Speaking to Rete Sport at the beginning of the year, Darmian’s agent, Tullio Tinti, was questioned on rumoured interest from Roma in his client, as well as the possibility of a January exit, with Tinti surprisingly revealing that the Italian stopper had still not been made available for transfer:
‘I’ve never received any calls from Roma [for Darmian].’
‘There’s contact with other Serie A sides, but not with the Giallorossi. At the moment, the lad’s not for sale.’
Serie A return?
But, during an interview with Sky Sport Italia last night, Darmian himself was questioned on his future at Old Trafford, as well as the mounting rumours that he is all but set for a move to Italian champions Juventus this summer.
And the Red Devils’ stopper, who has long remained coy on his plans moving forward, was keen to heap praise on Juve, fuelling speculation that the Bianconeri could well be his next destination:
‘I’m living a great experience here in England. I’d say yes to United again.’
‘It’s one of the best clubs in the world. I won several trophies here but I miss Italy. Let’s see what happens at the end of the season.’
‘Now the priority is to end the season in the best way possible.’
‘Juventus? I have not decided yet. I am happy Juventus are interested in me. Juve are a great club and I am happy for that.’