Matteo Darmian could be set for a shock move to Barcelona after the Catalan giants were said to have put the Italian on a list of targets for left-back, according to ESPN.
Darmian is said to be a low-cost alternative to first-choice targets Junior Firpo, Philipp Max and David Alaba.
David Alaba was the club’s first-choice target, but Bayern Munich are refusing to discuss terms with the club.
It is thought manager Ernesto Valverde wants a new left-back signed before the club flies out for their pre-season tour of Miami next Monday.
A move for Darmian wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world after he made just seven appearances last season, despite the club’s struggles in defence as they conceded a club-record 54 goals in the Premier League.
However, a move would seem strange from Manchester United’s perspective especially with the lack of out-and-out left-back cover for Luke Shaw. Ashley Young remains at the club after signing a new contract last season, but he is predominantly a right-footed player, despite having played left-back in the last few seasons.
Despite just playing seven games all of last season, and a move away looking likely after being left out of the squad for the Kristiansund friendly, Manchester United should do all they can to retain the services of the 29-year-old.
There is a real lack of depth in an already weak defence, and with the club doing all it can to bring in Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes in the remaining week or so of the window, there seems little time to focus on buying a replacement left-back if Darmian leaves.
With regards to Young, he showed last season that he couldn’t even perform well in his natural right-back position, so to trust him as a backup left-back could go horribly wrong. Young was one of the players singled out during the club’s hammering at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League.
Unless Manchester United can get a replacement in for Darmian, who has played at left-back 55 times in his career (via Transfermarkt), he is still needed by the club, who should do all they can to retain his services.
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