Man Utd wrap up signing of Torino defender Matteo Darmian
Manchester United, a top price of 6/1 with Coral to lift the Premier League title, have confirmed the capture of adaptable Torino and Italy defender Matteo Darmian on a four-year contract for an outright fee of £12.7m, which could eventually rise to around £14.4m with add-ons.
At 25, Darmian will be expected to slot straight in to the Red Devils’ rearguard and, although the versatile player can be deployed anywhere in defence, or even as a wing back or midfield shield, he will challenge for his natural position of right back.
This proved to be a problem area last campaign, with injury-prone Rafael da Silva seemingly unfancied by Dutch coach Louis van Gaal and now rumoured to be set for a summer switch to Serie A himself.
Ecuador wideman Antonio Valencia was often preferred in the Brazilian’s role but is not an ideal fit, while Phil Jones, Paddy McNair and Chris Smalling have all been used out of position to plug the gap on occasion over the past few seasons.
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“It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United,” Darmian. “I have loved the time that I have spent at Torino and I would like to thank the club and the fans for everything they have done for me.
“I am sure they can understand when the opportunity to join the biggest club in world came along it was something I had to do. To work with Louis van Gaal, a manager that has achieved so much in football is such an exciting prospect.”
Red Devils boss Van Gaal added: “Matteo is a right-sided full back with the versatility of also being able to play on the left. He is a strong defender and has the ability to go forward in the attacking positions, which is a fantastic attribute to have and much needed in the fast rhythm of the Premier League.
“Matteo will be a great addition to the team. I am delighted to welcome Matteo to the club and look forward to working with him in the coming days.”
As the Old Trafford outfit prepare to compete on four fronts, with their return to the Champions League imminent, the Northwest giants are keen to bolster their ranks, and had previously been linked with right backs such as Dani Alves, Nathaniel Clyne and Seamus Coleman. Darmian is a coup nonetheless, as Bayern Munich were also linked with buying him.
His addition, the second this summer so far following highly-rated Netherlands winger Memphis Depay’s arrival, should provide cover in numerous positions should the Red Devils run out of time to recruit in other positions or suffer another injury-riddled term.
Azzurri international Darmian, who has 13 caps for his country, also previously played for Padova and Palermo before joining the Bull in 2011, and went on to make 150 appearances for the Turin team as one of their most consistent performers.
Darmian contributed five goals and four assists across all competitions last campaign from his various roles, including a crucial Turin derby strike against Juventus, and can add further continental experience to United, having played for Torino in the Europa League.