Valencia full-back Joao Cancelo, who is currently on loan at Inter Milan, has reportedly emerged as a summer target for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
According to a report in TransferMarketWeb, Joao Cancelo is seen as a potential replacement for Matteo Darmian, who is reportedly edging closer to an exit from Manchester United and is likely to make a move to Juventus in the summer.
The full-back positions have been a problem for Jose Mourinho this season and while Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have done fairly well so far, it is clear that reinforcements are needed at both left and right-back over the summer.
Over the course of the past two seasons, Matteo Darmian has made only 42 appearances for Manchester United across all competitions. Like the previous campaign, he has been frozen out for large parts of this season and has only make 9 starts and a total of 13 appearances so far.
Antonio Valencia is Mourinho’s only other right-back and he turns 33 in a few months. So not only do Manchester United need another right-back in the squad, but also a top quality long-term option and the 23-year-old Cancelo fulfills both those requirements.
The Portuguese international has spent this season on loan from Valencia with Serie A giants Inter Milan, with the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season for €35 million. He’s made 23 appearances across all competitions, establishing himself as an important member of Luciano Spalletti’s squad.
The early half of the season was blighted by an injury to the knee and it has taken a while for the former Benfica man to find his form again. But in the second half of the campaign, Cancelo has played an important role in keeping Inter in the race for the Champions League spots.
Fast, technically adept, very strong going forward and defensively sound, Cancelo would be great fit at Manchester United. He is also highly experienced, having played 121 games for both club and country and at 23 years of age, there is a lot of scope for improvement.
He is capable of playing at right-back, right wing-back or even as a left back, if required and he would certainly be an upgrade on Darmian. However, a move to Manchester United could depend on whether Inter Milan purchase the Benfica youth product for €35 million in the summer.
If Inter purchase him permanently in the summer, it may be extremely difficult for Manchester United to convince the Nerazzurri to part with him in the same window. However, there is little doubting that the Red Devils’ financial might and it will be interesting to see where Cancelo ends up in the summer.