Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian is closing in on quitting Old Trafford amidst speculation linking him with a move to Napoli this summer. According to Sky Sports, the Italian right-back wants to depart the Mancunian club during this summer transfer period after being left frustrated with the lack of game time last season.

The 28-year-old has fallen down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho with Antonio Valencia still being preferred as the club’s first-choice right-back. The Italian full-back has a wealth of experience of playing at the highest level during his time in England and Italy so there might be no shortage of interests in his services.

Darmian has struggled for game time at Old Trafford over the past few years since making a switch from Torino in the summer of 2015. So a return to Italian football could help him reignite his career as he will be assured more first-team opportunities in Naples under the expert guidance of Carlo Ancelotti if the Italian manager can conjure up a deal for him.

The United outcast had featured in 115 matches in the Italian top-flight before moving to England. The Italian defensive ace is exactly the kind of player who can thrive under the leadership of Ancelotti if given the opportunity to play regularly at the Stadio San Paolo next term.

The Red Devils had a trophyless campaign last term when they only managed to finish as the runners-up of the English first division. Mourinho needs to recruit wisely and finalise his squad in the coming weeks before the transfer window slams shut next month.

Retaining some of their top players could go a long way in helping United compete with their rivals and challenge for some major silverware in the next few years. However, the Italian’s exit won’t be a big loss for the Reds of Manchester as it is clear that Mourinho does not fancy Darmian and still favours Antonio Valencia over him to lace up in the United first-team.

Hence, a move away from Old Trafford seems like the best move for all parties as the Mancunian club can use the space left by the Italian’s potential departure to recruit other players while Darmian can look to gain more first-team football experience somewhere else, which could help him reignite his career.

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It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of the Italian full-back and whether he can successfully push through a move out of Manchester this summer. But he looks unlikely to have a place in Mourinho’s first team next season. 

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.