La Liga champions Barcelona are facing a crisis in the full-back position, as two of their senior players are departing for the Serie A. The Catalan Giants have seemed to set their sights on the Italian defender Matteo Darmian, and have made him one of their primary transfer targets.
Barca have lost one of their veterans in Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, who joined Serie A Champions Juventus this summer. The 33-year-old was a permanent fixture in the Blaugrana side for the past eight years and the club now have a huge task on their hands in finding a replacement. The situation has been further compounded by the fact that Barca’s backup full-back Adriano is reportedly leaving for SS Lazio.
The Catalan giants have recently drawn up a shortlist of full-backs they will target this summer and Manchester United right-back Matteo Darmian is on top of their list, according to Mundo Deportivo. The other three are Mattia Di Sciglio of AC Milan, Fabian Johnson of Borussia Monchengladbach and Wendell of Bayer Leverkusen.
Matteo Darmian was part of the Italy team who were knocked out by Germany in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 in a penalty shoot-out. The 26 year old defender missed the penultimate penalty to hand the match to the Germans, but had a few good cameo appearances in the Azzuri’s good run in the competition. He even notched up an assist in their Round of 16 triumph against defending champions Spain.
The Italian arrived at Old Trafford last summer from Serie A club Torino for a reported fee of £12.7 million. Darmian was a fan favourite in his first month at the club, putting in some solid performances and winning the Manchester United August Player of the Month. A series of injuries, coupled with the constant shuffling of the team, saw him miss out on first team action for long periods.
Darmian is a versatile player capable of playing with both feet and could be just what Barcelona are looking for in the absence of Alves. He is defensively sound with the ability to get forward quickly and provide a threat on the wings. At 26 years of age, the Italian could develop into one of the best full-backs in the world in the coming few years, and it remains to be seen if Manchester United are willing to let him move to Spain.